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"Afraid of Chaos": UNRA officials threaten to shut down the organization's institutions in the West Bank | Israel Today

2022-11-28T18:03:37.489Z

The officials are demanding salary increases, the organization claims that there is no budget • The workers announced protest measures, including preventing visits by the representatives of the donor countries to UNRWA institutions in the West Bank • Palestinian sources: "They are afraid of losing control, this could increase the tension"



Officials of UNRWA, the United Nations relief and employment agency for Palestinian refugees, announced a labor dispute due to disputes over employment conditions and wage increases. The workers announced a series of protest measures, within the framework of which they will prevent representatives of the donor countries and UNRWA personnel abroad from visiting UNRWA institutions in the West Bank.


The conflict has intensified in recent months following demands made by the union of UNRA employees, who seek to receive an increase in their salary, as well as to change the employment agreements of some of the officials employed on a daily basis.

UNRWA told the employees that it is not possible at this stage to meet the financial burden associated with the wage increases, and that there is difficulty in committing to these requirements in the current situation where no source of funding has yet been found for salary payments for the next month for the agency's 30,000 employees in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. Due to a deficit of 50-80 million in the organization's budget.

The workers, for their part, announced a general strike at UNRWA institutions in the West Bank in two weeks if their demands are not met. The shutdown will include UNRWA schools, humanitarian aid institutions, clinics and other bodies that provide services, such as sanitation and garbage collection.

They fear chaos, photo: AFP

UNRA spokesman in Gaza, Adnan Abu Hasna, said that "it is unprecedented to prevent delegations from the donor countries from visiting the organization's institutions, this is a dangerous development for which the Palestinian refugees in the West Bank and other areas will pay the price."

It's impossible to even think about wanting to prevent visits from precisely the sources from whom the money for salaries and services comes in the end."

It should be noted that visits by representatives of UNRWA and the donor countries to the agency's institutions in the West Bank and Gaza is a routine matter that comes as part of the monitoring they carry out of the allocation of funds and the implementation of work plans.

Palestinian sources said that there is a fear of UNRWA losing control over its institutions in the West Bank. It was also noted that these measures, if carried out, could increase the economic distress and deprive the Palestinian residents of basic services that they are used to receiving from UNRWA, which could also affect the atmosphere and raise the tension

A Palestinian official added that there are internal problems in the UNRA workers' union in the West Bank, among them, "an investigation that is being conducted against the head of the West Bank workers' union due to allegations that he violated the organization's neutrality following statements attributed to him in which he called on the Palestinian Prime Minister and the heads of the Palestinian mechanisms to resign. "He is pushing for a strike. Kalit to save himself," it was reported.

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Source: israelhayom

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