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Israel restricts UNRWA coronavirus efforts in Jerusalem refugee camps

April 16, 2020 at 11:18 am

An outside view of UNRWA’s distribution center in Al-Shati refugee camp after it was closed on 23 March 2020 in Gaza City, Gaza. [Ali Jadallah – Anadolu Agency] ( Ali Jadallah – Anadolu Agency )

Spokesperson for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) Sami Mshasha said the Israeli occupation authorities are impeding UNRWA’s efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the occupied city of Jerusalem and its refugee camps, the organisation’s spokesperson has said.

Speaking to the Palestinian Wafa news agency, Sami Mshasha said that the restrictions are a continuation of Israel’s two-year-old limitations on UNRWA’s activities in the occupied city following the US’ recognition of Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel and its decision to move its embassy to the occupied city from Tel Aviv.

He explained that Israel has launched a campaign to prevent UNRWA and the Palestinian health ministry from providing health services to Palestinians in Jerusalem’s Old City, neighbourhoods and refugee camps.

Mshasha added that there is difficulty entering and exiting the refugee camps, especially Shuafat camp amid efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus, with many residents suffering financial losses as a result, in particular, those who do not normally rely on UNRWA’s services.

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