Employees of all the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) facilities in Gaza and the northern cities in the occupied West Bank went on strike today in response to a called by the UNRWA Staff Union. The strike is in protest of the agency’s administration’s systematic neglect of the refugees’ and staff’s rights.
Head of the union, Suhail Al-Hindi, said the strike includes all UNRWA facilities, including education and health facilities, so no students have class. He also noted that this time, the strike will only include Gaza City and the cities in the northern part of the occupied West Bank (Jenin, Nablus, Tulkarm, etc.) but that the events will spread to all of UNRWA’s areas of operation in the event it fails to respond to their demands.
All of the staff from the Gaza regional office participated in a march also attended by the forces and factions of national work, refugee departments and parents, noting that the participation in the strike is a moral duty for all staff and the union’s support for the strike is proof that the rights are being taken, not given.
Media advisor to UNRWA, Adnan Abu Hasna, said in his press releases “There will be no cuts to the UNRWA services, as the number of refugees receiving food aid in Gaza has reached one million. We also built 24 schools, at the rate of one school per month, as well as new clinics, a library and infrastructure projects in the camps. We also played a large role in the reconstruction process of Gaza.”
He said that the UNRWA Commissioner-General presented before the Quartet committee in the UN General Assembly a strategic vision to resolve UNRWA’s financial problems and its future,” noting that great efforts are being made in this context along with the World Bank and UN to increase the support of the UNRWA budget, and efforts to widen the circle of UNRWA donors.”