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Canada says it will resume funding to the UN Palestinian refugee agency

FILE PHOTO: Palestinian children wait to receive food cooked by a charity kitchen amid shortages of food supplies, in Rafah

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada will resume funding to the U.N. Palestinian refugee agency, International Aid Minister Ahmed Hussen said on Friday, becoming one of the first international donors to announce such a move.

Ottawa paused funding on Jan. 26 after Israel alleged some of the staff at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) agency had been involved in the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks.

"Canada will be lifting its temporary pause on funding to (UNRWA)," Hussen said in a statement, but did not say exactly when this would happen. "UNRWA plays a vital role in Gaza."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday that Ottawa was waiting for the results of an internal United Nations probe into the Israeli allegations that 12 UNRWA staff had been involved in the attacks in which around 1,200 people died, according to Israeli tallies.

A total of 16 donors, including the United States and Britain, paused their funding to UNRWA.

Hussen said Canada had reviewed the interim report of the U.N. investigation and looked forward to the final version.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Daniel Wallis)