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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Palestinian Arabs protest and close UNRWA offices; UNRWA goes on strike

Some more news that got almost no attention:

Earlier this month, the UNRWA announced that they would be reducing some services in the West Bank. As a result, the "Popular Committees" protested by forcibly preventing UNRWA workers from getting to their jobs at a number of camps as well as their headquarters. The committees threatened UN workers and threatened to burn their offices and storehouses of food.

The UNRWA called the Palestinian Arab police to help them re-open their offices, and the Popular Committees responded by saying that they deplore, denounced and condemn the conduct of those who are of the mindset to call the police to suppress these demonstrations.” The protests meant that food distribution and other services were curtailed.

Today, the UNRWA called a three-day strike in the West Bank to protest the violent conduct of the Committees. This means that for three days, food will not be distributed in the villages, although schools and medical clinics will remain open.

The UNRWA said that while they have no problem with peaceful protests, the physical threats and prevention of workers from doing their jobs is a bit over the line.

I could not find any mention of any of these events at the UNRWA web page (which is chockful of articles detailing Israeli actions) and I have emailed them for any press releases or other information.