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EU slams arson attack on UNRWA headquarters in East Jerusalem by Israel settlers

May 10, 2024 at 1:13 pm

High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell in Brussels, Belgium on May 06, 2024. [European Commission / POOL – Anadolu Agency]

The EU today slammed the arson attack on the headquarters of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA in occupied East Jerusalem by a group of Israeli extremists.

“The EU strongly condemns the attack against the UNRWA premises in East Jerusalem. Perpetrators must be held to account,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on X.

Stressing that Israel has a responsibility to ensure the safety of humanitarian workers, he added: “UNRWA is an irreplaceable lifeline to millions in Gaza and the region.”

The attack comes as Israel has been lobbying to have UNRWA closed as it is the only UN agency to have a specific mandate to look after the basic needs of Palestinian refugees. If the agency no longer exists, argues Israel, then the refugee issue must no longer exist, and the legitimate right for Palestinian refugees to return to their land will be unnecessary. Israel has denied that right of return since the late 1940s, even though its own membership of the UN was made conditional upon Palestinian refugees being allowed to return to their homes and land.

Following yesterday’s attack, UNRWA said it was shutting the office until security could be restored.

Read: Jordan slams Israel’s ‘defiance of international law’