PALESTINE SLAMS ISRAELI ATTEMPTS TO CANCEL UN RELIEF SERVICES IN JERUSALEM

RAMALLAH, Palestine, The Palestinian authorities, on Wednesday, slammed Israeli attempts to annul the services of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

The Jerusalem Municipality has started to provide services for residents of Shufat refugee camp, “to impose a new reality in the camp, by allowing its municipality to work there, instead of UNRWA,” said a joint press release by the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Refugees Affairs Commission, and the Popular Refugee Camps Committee.

The statement also denounced an earlier visit by Nir Barkat, Israeli mayor of Jerusalem, to the camp, as “a provocative step and a message of defiance to the international community, UNRWA and the Palestinian refugees living in the camp.” Barkat is “seeking to stir up tension in the region,” as the services will be offered “in return for taxes on the camp residents,” it explained.

On Tuesday night, the PLO Refugees Affairs Commission, held a meeting with UNRWA officials in Ramallah City, to discuss the Israeli plan to shut down the UNRWA office in the camp. “All Shufat refugee camp groups will stand against the plan and not allow it to end the role of UNRWA,” the meeting concluded.

As the oldest and largest relief organisation, (UNRWA was established in 1949) and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.4 million registered Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, to achieve their full potential in human development. Its services include education, health care, relief, social services, infrastructure, camp improvement and micro-credit.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK