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Refugees protest against the downscaling of UNRWA services in Gaza

February 15, 2014 at 1:25 pm


Following an invitation from the Popular Committee for Refugees, large crowds of Palestinian refugees have gathered outside the headquarters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees [UNRWA] in the Gaza Strip to stage a public protest over the organisation’s recent policy of downscaling of the services it provides.

Demonstrators raised placards and chanted slogans condemning UNRWA’s course of actions and asserting that the new policy is the detrimental to the Palestinian Cause while aiding the enemies of Palestine.

They also rejected the manipulation and blurring of the definition of a Palestinian refugee asserting that the Palestinian people and the Palestinian refugees in particular, were not beggars but rather were individuals entitled to certain political rights that could be ignored.

The refugees demanded that UNWRA assume its responsibilities fully while placards demanding that Robert Turner who is in charge of affairs resign and continue to connive wherever it is that he spends most of his time.

UNRWA’s downscaling of its services is aimed at the Right of Return and the crowds demanded that the agency refrain from wasting funds on programs and activities that do not benefit refugees.

The crowds stressed their commitment to the Right of Return and the implementation of UN Resolution 194 which asserts that refugees wishing to return to their homes and to live in peace with their neighbours should be allowed to do so as soon as possible. The resolution, in accordance with justice and international law, also asserts that those who do not wish to return should be paid compensation by the governments or responsible authorities for their possessions as well as for any damage, losses and harm suffered.

MEMO Photographer: Mohammed Asad