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[25 Feb 2012]

UNRWA SUPPORT CUT IN GAZA. HAMAS ASKS DISMISSAL OF COMMISSIONER-GENERAL OF UNRWA

According to the Palestinian Information Centre, UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, said it will "cease its services in financial support to poor families in Gaza, its program of creating employment opportunities, the night medical services as well as halving all other health services that it ensures in Gaza."

The press agency InfoPal.it, connected to the solidarity movement with Palestine in Italy, reports that there are 106,000 refugees in Gaza considered "poor" that will no longer receive financial support and support in health and education. Food aid will be kept. According to the same source, "the reasons given by UNRWA place the responsibility for this decision on the European Union and, in general, on donor countries" because they are no longer delivering the amounts of donations required for the operation of these programs. The Department for the issues of refugees from Hamas Movement asked that the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Italian Filippo Grandi, be removed from office, stating that "our experience with Grandi was that he was inefficient, even in his ability to obtain financing".

The UNRWA was established by Resolution 302 (IV) of the UN General Assembly in December 1949 to provide emergency assistance, health services and education to millions of Palestinian refugees after the creation of Israel. According to data from UNRWA there are now nearly five million Palestinian refugees in Jordan (2 million), Gaza (almost 1.2 million), West Bank (almost 850,000), Syria (almost 500,000) and Lebanon ( 450 000).

In the Gaza Strip, where a million and half Palestinians suffer a blockade continuously imposed by Israel for almost five years, and have not recovered from the tragic consequences of the operation "Cast Lead" unleashed by the Israeli army in winter 2008-2009, depending almost entirely on foreign aid for their survival, UNRWA is the main provider of humanitarian aid and the largest employer, having been responsible, in the first half of 2011, for 75.2% of employment in the private sector, which represents 8 9% of total employment.

The current UNRWA Commissioner-General was appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in January 2010, replacing the previous Commissioner-General, the american Karen AbuZayd.

A representative of UNRWA, the Executive Director Michael Kingsley, was in Portugal, in the Seminar "The Humanitarian Catastrophe in Gaza and the Growing Dangers of the Current Situation in the Palestinian Territories and the Region", organized by the MPPM in Lisbon on 14 February 2009, representing the then Commissioner-General Karen AbuZayd.

 
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