Saturday, October 01, 2011

More strikes against UNRWA planned this week

Palestine Press Agency reports that there are a number of planned actions against UNRWA by unions in Gaza this week.

Last Thursday there was a teacher's strike in solidarity with a terrorist-supporting union leader who had been suspended. This week's strikes seem to be more about salaries, though.

Shutdowns of Gaza's UNRWA headquarters and other facilities are planned for Monday and Thursday. Teachers will strike again on those days.

The union says it will reject all attempts at mediation. It also asserted that while everything is in Allah's hands, their employees have the right - as refugees and displaced persons - to have jobs at a good salary.

Reading between the lines, the dispute seems to be related still to the earlier issue with union leader Suheil al-Hindy. UNRWA says that its employees cannot explicitly be associated with terrorist groups, and the union is saying that the outside activities that its teachers are engaging in are charitable - which makes it sound like working with Hamas or Islamic Jihad is the issue. UNRWA has committed to its Western donors not to use their money to support terrorism, and this seems to be what the union is insisting on.

As usual, UNRWA's website is silent on this topic. They don't want to announce to the world that they are being forced to act against terrorist supporters in their ranks.