Fri 17-May-2024

Hamas warns of attempts to dismantle UNRWA

Thursday 18-April-2024


The Hamas Movement has warned that the Israeli occupation regime, with the support of Western parties, is trying to have the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) replaced with other international bodies and parties.

In a statement on Thursday, Hamas’s refugee affairs office said that the UNRWA commissioner-general’s warning of attempts to dismantle and replace UNRWA confirms that there are international conspiracies taking place to obliterate the issue of the Palestinian refugees and turn it into merely a humanitarian relief issue that can be carried out by other international bodies.

Hamas added that UNRWA’s exposure to such targeting by the occupation regime and international parties comes in the context of the unprecedented starvation campaign in Gaza, especially in northern Gaza and the refugee camps of Jabalia and ash-Shati.

Hamas pointed out that the Israeli occupation army destroyed seven refugee camps, where 70 percent of the Gaza population lives, adding that 90 percent of those living in those camps suffer from extreme poverty.

“These camp bear witness to the exposure of the Palestinian people to the largest genocidal war on the Palestinian people since 1948,” the Movement said.

The head of UNRWA warned on Wednesday that Israel’s attempts to dismantle the agency while a humanitarian disaster is unfolding in the bombarded and besieged Gaza Strip would have devastating consequences.

Addressing the UN Security Council, Philippe Lazzarini said UNRWA’s work is now more crucial than ever and appealed for protection against Israel.

“Today an insidious campaign to end UNRWA’s operations is under way, with serious implications for international peace and security”, he told the 15-member body during a session called for by Jordan.

“This is happening while Israel’s relentless bombing and merciless siege have transformed Gaza beyond recognition,” with young children dying of malnutrition and dehydration as a man-made famine is tightening its grip across the Strip, where Israeli attacks have killed at least 33,899 people since October 7.”

“Across the border, food and clean water wait, but UNRWA is denied permission to deliver this aid and save lives,” Lazzarini said.

“This outrage is occurring despite consecutive orders by the International Court of Justice to increase the flow of aid into Gaza – which can be done if there is sufficient political will,” he added, calling on the council to “make a difference.”

Lazzarini said that while UNRWA’s requests to deliver aid to northern Gaza are repeatedly denied, its premises and employees in Gaza are being targeted systematically, with a total of 178 UNRWA personnel killed since the start of the war.

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