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UNRWA chief visits Gaza

July 14, 2014 at 2:11 pm

UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl visited an UNRWA school today, following an Israeli strike that targeted a nearby police station.

Yesterday, the Israeli authorities had denied permission for UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl to enter the Gaza Strip through the Erez Crossing. The UN agency’s coordinator of humanitarian affairs, James Rawley, was also refused entry.

UNRWA’s media advisor in Gaza, Adnan Abu Hasna, said that despite prior security coordination with the Israeli authorities, they prevented the UNRWA team from going into Gaza, citing “security concerns” as the reason.

The Director of UNRWA operations in Gaza, Robert Turner, told a press conference at the Shifa Hospital on Saturday, “We are concerned about the situation in Gaza, the people are living war for the third time.” Turner pointed out that UNRWA supported the Palestinian refugees during the wars in 2008-2009 and 2012.

The UN body was established in 1949 to cater for the needs of Palestinian refugees. It announced on Thursday a “state of emergency” in all of its operational regions following the Israeli escalation against the besieged enclave. Around 170 Palestinians have been killed since Israel began a military offensive dubbed “Operation Protective Edge” against the people of the Gaza Strip on Tuesday. More than 1,000 people have been wounded in the brutal assault.