UNRWA calls out Hamas, Israel for actions throughout Israel-Gaza struggle

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has just lately condemned the concentrating on of its amenities within the Gaza Strip throughout the newest battle between the Palestinian Hamas motion and Israel. 

In an Aug. 11 press launch, UNRWA careworn that its installations are inviolable always, and referred to as on all events to chorus from any exercise or conduct that endangers beneficiaries and workers and undermines its capacity to soundly help refugees.

“Initial risk assessments have indicated the existence of underground structures that could have led to further damage,” the assertion learn. “Letters of protest have been sent to the de facto authorities in Gaza. The Agency has also protested the takeover by the de facto authorities of one of these schools, which undermines the inviolability and neutrality of UNRWA premises.”

On June 4, UNRWA mentioned in an official assertion, “With no advanced warning, between May 13 and May 15, 2021, the Israeli Air Force conducted strikes that caused damage to UNRWA installations, most notably to the UNRWA Zaitoun Preparatory Boys’ School ‘A’ and Elementary Boys’ School ‘A.’”

The assertion continued, “The Agency’s installations, like all UN facilities, are marked as such and fly a United Nations flag on the roof. UNRWA shares the coordinates of all of its installations periodically with relevant Israeli authorities and in times of conflict, the coordinates of designated emergency shelters are shared daily.”

Between May 10 and May 21, Israel waged a fourth struggle on Gaza in a army confrontation with the Palestinian resistance factions towards the backdrop of the repeated Israeli assaults that concentrate on the Palestinians at Al-Aqsa Mosque and within the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem.

The Israeli raids on Gaza killed 248 Palestinians, together with 66 kids, 39 ladies and 17 aged individuals, along with injuring 1,948 Palestinians, whereas 75,000 others had been displaced, 28,700 of whom sought refuge in UNRWA-run colleges.

UNRWA suffered from a stifling monetary disaster after the choice of the administration of former US President Donald Trump on Aug. 31, 2018, to chop US funding to the group, claiming that UNRWA contributes to the sustainability of the Palestinian-Israeli battle, and accusing it of exaggerating in figuring out the numbers of Palestinian refugees.

However, the administration of President Joe Biden restored UNRWA’s funding on April 7, offering it with $150 million. In response, UNRWA issued a assertion again then, saying, “The newly announced U.S. funding will support the overall UNRWA programme budget — the majority of which funds the operation of more than 700 schools educating over half a million children and almost 150 primary health clinics providing 8.5 million patient consultations a year — as well as emergency appeals.”

On July 7, the United States introduced a further contribution of $135.Eight million to UNRWA. The funding announcement coincided with the United States and UNRWA signing a Framework for Cooperation in help of humanitarian help, human improvement and safety of Palestinian refugees.

The Framework for Cooperation states, “The US will not make any contributions to UNRWA except on the condition that UNRWA takes all feasible measures to ensure that no part of the US contribution is used to assist any refugee receiving military training as a member of the so-called Palestinian Liberation Army or any other guerrilla organization or has participated in any terrorist act.”

Hamas chief and Palestinian Legislative Council deputy Yahya Moussa rejected the UNRWA assertion, which spoke of the existence of Hamas tunnels underneath its installations, saying, “The UNRWA statement is consistent with the Israeli and US narrative and is linked to political agendas.”

He instructed Al-Monitor, “The UNRWA statement diverts attention from the real criminal and the crimes of the Israeli occupation, which is responsible for everything that is happening against the Palestinian people.”

Moussa careworn that the letter of Gilad Erdan, Israeli ambassador to the United States and to the United Nations, to the UN secretary-general and the UNRWA commissioner-general to freeze the funding of UNRWA installations in Gaza after its assertion is proof that the purpose is to finish the refugee subject as a witness to the Israeli crime of expelling the Palestinians from their lands in 1948.

“Where is UNRWA’s evidence that there are tunnels under its installations?” he questioned, stressing that there is no UNRWA school controlled by Hamas.

Moussa reiterated the right of the Palestinian people “to resist the Israeli occupation by all means, which is guaranteed by international laws.”

Adnan Abu Hasna, UNRWA media adviser in Gaza, told Al-Monitor, “The UNRWA statement issued on Aug. 11 expresses its official position, and we have no further comments.”

Salah Abdel-Ati, director of the International Commission to Support the Palestinian Rights, told Al-Monitor that the UN buildings and staff must be respected. In return, UNRWA should play its role in protecting refugees and providing relief.

He said, “There is no proof that the Palestinian resistance in Gaza has exploited schools or any UNRWA installations. On the contrary, the UN facilities were subject to Israeli bombings and steady Israeli violations.”

Abdel-Ati famous, “This matter has been proven in the reports of international fact-finding missions and through various human rights follow-ups. UNRWA’s appeal is directed to all parties and not directed to the Palestinian people alone.”

Talal Okal, political analyst and author for the Palestinian Al-Ayyam newspaper, instructed Al-Monitor that UNRWA is getting used once more within the US public coverage, which is attempting to maintain Hamas and the Palestinian factions on the US terrorist record.

“The issue is not UNRWA’s installations and schools. Rather, it means that UNRWA will interfere in the educational curricula and employees who may be accused under the US terrorist list.”

He noted, “Why does Israel not agree to the international investigation commissions, cooperate with them and come up with results that it deems appropriate? Israel rejected them, while Hamas welcomed the commissions and cooperated with the Goldstone Commission,” in reference to the fact-finding mission established in 2009 to analyze human rights violations throughout the Israeli assault on Gaza again then. 

Okal believes that Biden’s coverage with the Palestinians is kind of the identical as Trump’s, albeit softer.


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