Friday, July 22, 2011

UNRWA threatens to shut down in Gaza over protests

From CRI:
A United Nations agency taking care of Palestinian refugees threatened Thursday to suspend all its activities in the Gaza Strip if people did not end a series of protests against the organization.

"We are thinking to stop our operations completely in a week" if the protests against the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) continued, said Chris Gunness, spokesman for the UNRWA.

Dozens of people have blocked gates of the UNRWA headquarters in Gaza City for the second day because the agency suspended some of its relief programs.

Gunness stressed that it is unacceptable for the protests to develop in this way.

The UNRWA says their basic services, mainly health and education, are still being offered normally, and the suspension targeted other programs such as temporary employment.

The UNRWA attributes the crisis to a lack of funding, noting that the donor countries did not meet their obligations.

The protests are sponsored by Hamas, the Islamic movement that controls Gaza. Hamas refused the UNRWA's threats to stop the operations and called on the protestors to continue their sit-in around the agency's headquarters.
Comments at Palestine Press Agency are defiant, saying that the UN could "go to hell" because it is a Zionist agency anyway.

Hey, if UNRWA doesn't want to be there, and Gazans don't want it to be there....