Employees of the corrupt UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza staged a protest for the second day in a row against the agency’s recent decision to scale down its operations and lay off up to 1,000 employees.
U.S. Business Insider“This is a death sentence for us,” said Sabri al-Malawani, who held up his termination letter at a protest outside an UNRWA office.
The United Nations agency that helps Palestinian refugees said on Wednesday it would reduce jobs in Gaza and the West Bank at the end of this month following U.S. budget cuts. The job losses, which trade unionists say will eventually affect 1,000 people, have been prompting protests in Gaza.
SIPSE (h/t Maurice) Earlier this year, the U.S. cut around $300 million in funding to Unrwa, resulting in a $217 million budget shortfall. U.N. officials say the cuts are “the largest ever reduction in funding Unrwa has faced.”
Employees of the U.N. Palestinian refugee agency escalated their protest Wednesday in the Gaza Strip against sweeping pay cuts and dismissals as the organization blamed U.S. funding cuts on the crisis.
Hundreds of Unrwa staff continued a sit-in that began Monday at the organization’s Gaza office and announced plans to go on an openended strike, demanding the agency cancel recent job eliminations and downgrading of contracts.
After the strike tomorrow, we will take more steps that could paralyze life in the Gaza Strip,” Amir al-Miss’hal, head of Unrwa’s Palestinian employees union, told The Associated Press. Al-Miss’hal says the agency technically canceled about 1,000 more jobs by stopping hiring new employees to fill in for those who retired.
One staffer who received a dismissal notice Wednesday attempted to set himself on fire during the sit-in, but bystanders and colleagues stopped him after he poured gasolina on his body. Unwa provides basic services to millions of Palestinians and their descendants, who were made refugees in Gaza, West Bank and neighboring Arab countries after Israel’s creation in 1948.(Um, no, they were ordered to leave the area by Arab leaders who promised they could all return in a few weeks, once the 4 Arab armies had killed all the Israelis and taken back the land that belonged to Israel)
“The American administration’s decision to withhold $300 million had a deep impact on UNRWA’s ability to cater to Palestine refugees’ increasing demands.
Founded in 1949, UNRWA serves an estimated five million Arab refugees in the West Bank, in Gaza (why are there refugees in Gaza which Israel left in 2005?), Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. It is funded mainly by voluntary contributions from U.N. member states…apparently not anywhere near enough now that US has pulled out.
Learn the truth about the so-called Palestinian refugees: