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UN reinforces support to UNRWA before Israel attempts to discredit it

United Nations, May 28 (Prensa Latina) The UN today reiterated its support for its Palestinian Refugee Agency (Unrwa) in the face of Israel's attempts to designate it as a "terrorist organization."

Regarding a preliminary vote within the Israeli parliament for this purpose, the spokesman for the Secretary General of the United Nations (António Guterres), Stéphane Dujarric, insisted on the fundamental role played by UNRWA.

The Agency, considered the main UN actor in the occupied territories, has been working since 1950 with the aim of deploying aid programs and direct works for Palestinian refugees.

The UN has defended the neutrality of that entity in the face of the discredit campaign by the Israeli authorities, who for their part are pressing to end its operations.

Last January, accusations disclosed by Israel linking several of its members to the Hamas group caused a pause in funding from major donors at a key time to meet needs such as food, water, shelter and medicine for civilians in Gaza.

However, most countries -except the United States and the United Kingdom- resumed support in the absence of solid evidence.

According to Guterres’ spokesperson, the new designation attempt could compromise the Agency’s essential humanitarian operations.

“If UNRWA can no longer operate in Gaza or the occupied West Bank, Israeli authorities, as the occupying power, will have to assume responsibility for many of those operations,” he said.

Dujarric expressed concern about the consequences of these acts after several attacks against UNRWA facilities in Jerusalem were also reported.

In early May, UNRWA Commissioner General Philippe Lazzarini announced the closure of the organization’s headquarters in East Jerusalem following an arson attack.

Israeli residents set fire to the perimeter twice while the institution’s own workers put out the flames due to the delay of the firefighters, he explained at the time.

The fire was preceded by a violent protest that same week.

According to the UNRWA chief, nearly 160 Agency premises have been damaged or completely destroyed in Gaza since the outbreak of hostilities on October 7 and at least 400 people have died while seeking the protection of the UN flag.