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Israeli citizens set fire to the UNRWA headquarters in Jerusalem, shouting 'Burn the United Nations'.

Israeli civilians set fires twice yesterday in the vicinity of the headquarters of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in Jerusalem was occupied when staff from the organization and other United Nations agencies were inside. The office will remain closed until proper security levels are restored.

“In light of this second horrific incident in less than a week, I have taken the decision to close our complex until adequate security is restored,” reported the agency's Commissioner General, Philippe Lazzarini, who described the event as “scandalous.” ” described. Although there were no casualties among staff, the fire caused extensive damage to outdoor areas and posed a serious risk to staff as UNRWA headquarters has a petrol and diesel station on the site for its car fleet.

Lazzarini explained that the head office director and other employees had to extinguish the fire themselves as Israeli fire extinguishers and police were slow to arrive. “A crowd, accompanied by armed men, was seen outside the complex chanting 'Burn the United Nations',” Lazzarini said of the perpetrators of the attack, scenes that have also been circulated on social networks. “This is a scandalous fact. Once again, the lives of UN personnel were in serious danger (…) In recent months We have experienced harassment and intimidation on a regular basis and on several occasions Israeli extremists threatened our staff with firearms,” he added.

For the past two months, they have been Israeli extremists organizing protests in front of the complex of UNRWA in Jerusalem, convened by an elected member of the Jerusalem Municipality, which have become more violent this week as protesters threw stones at UN staff and buildings in the complex.


Since the start of the war in the Gaza Strip, UNRWA has been in Israel's crosshairs. The Israeli government accused a dozen employees from the agency that participated in the October 7 Hamas attacks and claims that more than 200 of its employees are linked to Islamists; Nor does he hide his intention to close it. These accusations prompted many donor countries to cut funding to UNRWA, although most have resumed in the absence of conclusive evidence from Israel.

Lazzarini has stressed that it is the responsibility of the State of Israel, “as an occupying power,” to ensure that United Nations personnel and facilities are protected “in accordance with international law” and has demanded that the perpetrators of the attacks be brought to justice investigated. and accountability.



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