Yousaf condemns ‘outrageous smear’ over Scottish government’s Gaza funding

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Mr Yousaf said: “To be clear, the Scottish government gave money to Gaza, like virtually every government in the West, because of the unarguable humanitarian catastrophe that has unfolded there.”

UNRWA has since been at the centre of controversy surrounding Israeli accusations that members of its staff were involved in the 7 October attacks by Hamas that triggered the fighting.

Several countries, including the UK, have announced a pause in support for the relief agency while an investigation takes place after the allegations emerged in January.

However, those accusations only became known several weeks after the Scottish government funding announcement had been made.

Stephen Kerr had claimed to the Telegraph that the funding decision suggested the first minister was “prepared to bend the rules”.

He also said there was a “clear conflict of interest” in aid money being provided to UNRWA.

Israel’s military launched an air and ground campaign in the Gaza Strip after Hamas’s attacks on Israel on 7 October, in which about 1,200 people were killed and 253 others were taken hostage.

More than 30,800 people have been killed in Gaza since then, the territory’s Hamas-run health ministry says.

The conflict has created a growing humanitarian crisis, and the UN has warned that famine in Gaza is “almost inevitable”.

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