QR codeQR code

UN agency says Israelis twice set fire to perimeter of its headquarters in East Jerusalem

10 May 2024 - 12:24

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) said Thursday that Israeli residents twice set fire to the perimeter of its headquarters in occupied East Jerusalem.

“This evening, Israeli residents set fire twice to the perimeter of the UNRWA Headquarters in occupied East Jerusalem. This took place while UNRWA and other UN Agencies’ staff were on the compound,” UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said on X.
While there were no casualties among the staff, the fire caused extensive damage to the outdoor areas. Lazzarini noted.
“Our director with the help of other staff had to put out the fire themselves as it took the Israeli fire extinguishers and police a while before they turned up,” he said.
“A crowd accompanied by armed men were witnessed outside the compound chanting ‘Burn down the United Nations.’
“This is an outrageous development. Once again, the lives of UN staff were at a serious risk,” he added.
Lazzarini announced that “in light of this second appalling incident in less than a week, I have taken the decision to close down our compound until proper security is restored.”
The latest incident marked the second attack on UNRWA's headquarters in East Jerusalem in less than two days.
Right-wing groups staged protests outside the UNRWA office in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem on Tuesday evening to call for its closure.
UNRWA has been facing Israeli pressure over unproven allegations that some of the agency’s staff were involved in the Oct. 7 attack on Israel last year by the Palestinian group Hamas.
The US and some of its Western allies initially suspended funding to UNRWA in January, but others such as the European Union, Canada and Sweden have since backtracked and plan to resume funding.
UNRWA was created by the UN General Assembly more than 70 years ago to assist Palestinians who were forcibly displaced from their land.
The agency provides crucial support to millions of Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and other areas where large numbers of registered Palestinians live.

Story Code: 634772

News Link :

Taghribnews (TNA)