UN agency urges restraint after staff member is shot dead by Israeli forces

Israeli soldiers inspect a vehicle entering the village of Azzun Atma through the West Bank Barrier. Photo: IRIN/Tom Spender

26 August 2013 – The UN agency tasked with assisting Palestinian refugees today called for restraint from all parties after receiving confirmation that one of its staff members was shot and killed by Israeli forces this morning.

In a statement, the UN relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said the staff member was killed instantly in an operation in the Kalandia refugee camp in the Occupied West Bank.

“Credible reports say that he was on his way to work and was not engaged in any violent activity. He was shot in the chest,” UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness said of the 34-year-old staff member who lost his life.

“Another UNRWA staff member, a sanitation labourer, was shot in the leg during the same operation and is in a stable condition. An UNRWA investigation is ongoing.”

Three people in total were killed during the operation, and about 20 injured, some of them seriously.

UNRWA condemned the killing and called on all sides to “exercise maximum restraint and to act in accordance with obligations under international law.”


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