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newsIsrael at War

UN taps Dutch minister accused of financing terror for Gaza role

A Foreign Ministry spokesperson did not immediately offer comment on whether Kaag would be welcome in Israel.

Dutch Finance Minister Sigrid Kaag speaks ahead of the Eurogroup finance ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium, Jan. 17, 2022. Photo by Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock.
Dutch Finance Minister Sigrid Kaag speaks ahead of the Eurogroup finance ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium, Jan. 17, 2022. Photo by Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock.

The United Nations has tasked the outgoing finance minister of the Netherlands, Sigrid Kaag, with coordinating the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip in the wake of Israel’s war against Hamas, outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced on Tuesday evening.

Kaag, who previously served as the European country’s minister for foreign affairs and development cooperation, admitted to parliament in 2020 that her ministry had paid part of the salaries of two terrorists involved in the murder of an Israeli teenager.

The terrorists implicated in the attack were employed by the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), which has close ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group.

Ignoring multiple warnings from Israeli watchdog groups, Kaag, who is married to Anis al-Qaq, a former Palestinian Authority deputy minister and PLO ambassador, continued to support the UAWC, contributing some 11.7 million euros ($12.9 million) between 2017 and 2020.

In addition, before joining the Dutch government in 2017, Kaag served in multiple senior United Nations roles, including at the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

Tweeting on Tuesday, Rutte wished Kaag “success with this important task,” adding that “the Netherlands is proud of this nomination and will support her work and that of the U.N. in every possible way.”

“It’s an honor that the secretary-general of the United Nations, António Guterres, has requested me to accept the task of Special Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator for Gaza,” Kaag said on X.

“I have accepted this exceptional assignment in the hope of contributing to a better future,” said Kaag, announcing that she requested that Dutch King Willem-Alexander accept her resignation effective Jan. 8.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Israeli Foreign Ministry told JNS it may bar specific U.N. officials from entering the Jewish state and would decide whether to grant visas to them on a case-by-case basis.

The diplomatic move was taken following the “disgraceful” response by the international body to the Oct. 7 massacre in which Hamas terrorists murdered more than 1,200 people in Israel, Jerusalem added.

A Foreign Ministry spokesperson did not immediately offer comment on whether Kaag would be welcome in Israel.

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