11 AUGUST 2021
The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General.
Questions and Answers
Question: Yeah. I’d like you to try to confirm or deny or maybe comment on a story that appeared yesterday from Gaza. According to a story, UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East] asked a weapons… a UN ex‑weapons experts from… what are they called… UNMAS [United Nations Mine Action Service] to inspect a tunnel that was found in an UNRWA school in Zaitoun neighbourhood of Gaza two months ago, and Hamas blocked the inspection; and therefore, another inspection that was similarly planned for Rafah was also cancelled. According to the story, UNRWA said that they can’t open the school year if the inspection is not taking place. Can you shed any light on this?
Spokesman: No, I mean, our colleagues at UNRWA could give you the details. What I can tell you is that it is critical for every UN premise anywhere in the world to be free of any weapons or anything that would put that premise at risk.
Question: But, that tunnel in Gaza City was found two months ago, and now they are trying to inspect it but are not allowed to do that. Is that a problem…?
Spokesman: Benny, as I said, on the operational details, I would ask you to ask UNRWA. I can only state what our policy is. [The Spokesman later shared a statement by UNRWA protesting what it said was the takeover of one its schools by the de facto authorities.] Mr. Gladstone?
For information media. Not an official record.
Document Sources: Secretary-General, United Nations Department of Global Communications, United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
Subject: Armed conflict, Education and culture, Gaza Strip, Governance, Human rights and international humanitarian law, Legal issues
Publication Date: 11/08/2021
URL source: https://www.un.org/press/en/2021/db210811.doc.htm