UNRWA Closes Headquarters in E. Jerusalem after Repeated Israeli Attacks

UNRWA Closes Headquarters in E. Jerusalem after Repeated Israeli Attacks

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said on Thursday that it has decided to close down its East Jerusalem headquarters after Israelis repeatedly set fire near the site.

Philippe Lazzarini, Commissioner-General of UNRWA, said on social media platform X that the fire, the second in less than a week, took place when their staff were on the compound.

There were no casualties among the staff, but the fire caused extensive damage to the outdoor areas, said Lazzarini.

He noted "it is an outrageous development and the lives of UN staff were at serious risk."

Over the past two months, "Israeli extremists" have been staging protests outside the compound, said Lazzarini. This week, the protest became violent while demonstrators threw stones at UN staff and the buildings of the compound.

“Over the past months, UN staff have regularly been subjected to harassment and intimidation. Our compound has been seriously vandalized and damaged. On several occasions, Israeli extremists threatened our staff with guns,” he said.

The UNRWA chief stressed that it is the responsibility of Israel as the occupying power to ensure that UN personnel and facilities are protected at all times. 

“I call on all those who have influence to put an end to these attacks and hold all those responsible accountable,” he said. “The perpetrators of these attacks must be investigated and those responsible must be held accountable. Anything less will set a new dangerous standard.”

Short Link : https://prc.org.uk/en/news/6250