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UNRWA chief: Course chosen by Israel will not achieve peace 

November 10, 2023 at 2:54 pm

Philippe Lazzarini, Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) holds press conference in Jerusalem on October 27, 2023 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu via Getty Images]

Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Philippe Lazzarini, said the present course chosen by Israel will not achieve peace, but rather will create a new generation of oppressed Palestinians, calling for “an end to the massacres” committed against the Palestinians.

In an OpEd published yesterday, Lazzarini said, “More than 700,000 people live in about 150 UNRWA buildings throughout the Gaza Strip,” noting that “about 50 of the agency’s buildings, including schools, were damaged due to the war, and 99 UNRWA employees were killed.”

“For many Palestinians, this exodus is reminiscent of the original displacement of more than 700,000 people from their towns and villages in 1948, also known as the Nakba (“catastrophe” in Arabic). They read stories of a leaked Israeli government white paper suggesting they be expelled into Sinai. Their fears are compounded when hearing an Israeli politician calling Gazans “human animals” — dehumanising language I did not think I would hear in the 21st century,” he said.

Lazzarini stressed that the present course chosen by the Israeli occupation authorities will not bring the peace and stability that both Israelis and Palestinians want and deserve.

“Razing entire neighbourhoods to the ground is not an answer for the egregious crimes committed by Hamas. To the contrary, it is creating a new generation of aggrieved Palestinians who are likely to continue the cycle of violence. The carnage simply must stop,” he added.

Read: UN chief says Gaza deaths show something ‘wrong’ with Israel operation