Hamas: Service decline signals intent behind UNRWA name change

[ 10/07/2011 – 05:32 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)– Hamas’s refugees’ affairs department has said the recent decline in UNRWA’s services confirms the body’s “evil objectives” behind the recent name change, which excluded the term “relief works”.

The Hamas department said in a statement on Sunday that officials from the UN Palestinian refugees agency should explain its excesses to circumvent the refugees’ issues and needs, adding that undermining the refugees’ needs is no less serious than undermining them politically.

“It is unacceptable to cease emergency aid in light of the increased number and needs of refugees, and in light of the tightened siege imposed on the Gaza Strip. In principle, UNRWA should look for additional donors. That is its task. Its officials get paid high salaries. Its negligence in providing necessary support means negligence in carrying out its tasks, and there is no need for it to continue,” the statement says.

“The continued volatility of international aid to the Palestinian refugees is unreasonable,” the refugees’ affairs department said, adding that the matter must be finalized by making the contributions by international donors obligatory intead of voluntary donations used to extort the Palestinians and bargain with them over their rights. It said that the UN which created the refugee problem by deciding to divide Palestine and recognizing Israel as a member must shoulder responsibilities by making a permanent budget for UNRWA to continue functioning.

The UN Palestinian refugees agency recently began reducing emergency aid starting with Gaza Strip as it made cuts in its budget for a work opportunity program that produced 3,500 jobs a month. It also reduced the number of temporary contractors that provide 20 percent of the services to UNRWA’s facilities and lowered the number of aid beneficiaries by 120,000 since the beginning of July. The body also decided to cut financial aid of 100 shekels given to students at the agency’s schools and is threatening to cut the job opportunity program altogether by 1 October due to lack of funding.


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