PRC: Israeli Settlers' Attacks on UNRWA Headquarters in Jerusalem Acts of Terrorism

PRC: Israeli Settlers' Attacks on UNRWA Headquarters in Jerusalem Acts of Terrorism

A fire lit by extremists can be seen on the grounds of the UNRWA headquarters in East Jerusalem, May 9, 2024

The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) in London expresses profound concern over the recent decision by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to close down its East Jerusalem headquarters following repeated acts of aggression by Israeli extremists.

This decision comes in the wake of a distressing escalation of violence against UNRWA staff and facilities, culminating in the second attack in less than a week, as Israeli provocations continue to endanger the safety and security of humanitarian workers in the region.

The latest attack, which occurred while UNRWA staff were present on the compound, underscores the urgent need for concerted international action to protect the rights and well-being of Palestinian refugees and ensure the safety of humanitarian personnel operating in East Jerusalem. It is unacceptable that those providing vital assistance to vulnerable communities are subjected to such blatant acts of aggression and intimidation.

For months, UNRWA staff have endured a campaign of harassment and intimidation by Israeli extremists and authorities, undermining their ability to carry out their humanitarian mandate effectively. The closure of the East Jerusalem headquarters represents a serious setback in the provision of essential services to Palestinian refugees and further exacerbates an already dire humanitarian situation.

International law stresses the obligation to respect and protect humanitarian relief personnel. Under the Statute of the International Criminal Court, intentionally directing attacks against personnel involved in a humanitarian assistance mission in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations is a war crime in international armed conflicts, as long as such personnel are entitled to the protection given to civilians under international humanitarian law.

As we stand in solidarity with UNRWA and its dedicated staff, PRC calls on the international community to condemn these reprehensible attacks in the strongest possible terms and to take immediate action to hold the perpetrators accountable. It is imperative that the United Nations and its member states uphold their obligations under international law to ensure the protection of humanitarian workers and uphold the rights of Palestinian refugees.

Short Link :