HomeNewsDiplomatic NewsUNRWA reports Human Rights abuses against Staff members

UNRWA reports Human Rights abuses against Staff members

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Gaza, 9 March 2024 (TDI): The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA’s) communications director Juliette Touma informed about the submission of a report detailing human rights abuses against the agency’s staff members in Israeli detention.

The agency has planned to release the information in the form of an unpublished report to be shared with other agencies within and outside the UN.

The information has been collected from the employees who have been released in Gaza by the Israeli authorities after detention against the allegations of their involvement in the 7 October attack.

“Agency staff members have been subject to threats and coercion by the Israeli authorities while in detention, and pressured to make false statements against the Agency, including that the Agency has affiliations with Hamas and that UNRWA staff members took part in the 7 October 2023 atrocities,” the report narrates.

Independent Investigation

Touma, during her talk with BBC News on 4th March 2024 said that the Israeli allegations against the agency’s staff members were “severe”.

“We took them very seriously and we reacted very swiftly. There is now an ongoing investigation. It is independent of UNRWA. It has been done by the highest investigative body in the UN in New York,” she asserted.

She further explained the necessary and immediate measures undertaken by the agency like termination of the contracts of alleged staff members and detailed review of multiple allegations coming in the direction of the agency.

Also Read: UNRWA Commissioner-Generals statement to General Assembly

She further pleaded with the donors, who have halted their funding to UNRWA, to continue funding till the “investigation concludes” as the funding is crucial for the sustenance of no less than 2 million displaced and tormented residents of Gaza.

Campaign to end UNRWA

Parallel to this, the Commissioner-General of UNRWA to the General Assembly was alarmed that “UNRWA is facing a deliberate and concerted campaign to undermine its operations, and ultimately end them.”

“Part of this campaign involves inundating donors with misinformation designed to foster distrust and tarnish the reputation of the Agency. More blatant, is the Israeli Prime Minister openly stating that UNRWA will not be part of post-war Gaza,” he narrated.

“I urge those Member States that are seeking alternatives to UNRWA to do so in a way that does not compromise Palestine Refugees’ right to self-determination and aspiration to a just and lasting solution to their plight,” he concluded.

 

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