Palestinian employees of United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) take part in a protest against job cuts by UNRWA, in Gaza City, on September 19, 2018. (AFP / SAID KHATIB)
Blocked in a car by a mob, kept from their HQ: Why UNRWA staff had to flee Gaza
Angry crowds have stopped staff from getting to work for days, says agency’s Gaza chief, but it got worse when ‘threatening’ protesters surrounded a car with 5 employees
The emergency evacuation of nine foreign employees of UNRWA from Gaza to Israel on Monday was necessitated after Palestinian protesters surrounded and blocked a car containing UNRWA officials for an hour that day in a “threatening” and “dangerous” confrontation, the head of the agency’s operations in the coastal enclave told The Times of Israel.
Furthermore, he said, a crowd of Gazans mobilized by the UNRWA employees’ union have prevented some 300 employees of the Palestinian refugee agency from accessing their offices at the organization’s Gaza headquarters for eight of the last ten days, and have made “serious” threats against senior staffers.
Matthias Schmale described what had become an untenable situation for many employees of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, the UN body tasked with aiding Palestinian refugees, in a telephone interview late Tuesday from Gaza, where he and a reduced overseas team remain for the time being. Read more…..