The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) reiterates that its installations are inviolable at all times, as it conducts follow-up risks assessment, through the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), related to Israeli airstrikes between 13 and 15 May 2021 that damaged several of its premises.
Initial risk assessments have indicated the existence of underground structures that could have led to further damage. The Agency condemns the existence and potential use of such underground structures, including tunnels, in the strongest possible terms, and letters of protest have been sent to the de facto authorities in Gaza. The Agency has also protested the takeover by the de facto authorities of one of these schools, which undermines the inviolability and neutrality of UNRWA premises. These actions also stand to compromise the safe return of children to their schools and scuttles the Agency efforts to open the schools on time.
The Agency demands that all parties desist from any activities or conduct that put beneficiaries and staff at risk and undermine the ability of UNRWA to provide assistance to Palestine refugees in safety and security.
Document Sources: United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
Subject: Armed conflict, Children, Gaza Strip, Human rights and international humanitarian law, Security issues
Publication Date: 11/08/2021
URL source: https://www.unrwa.org/newsroom/official-statements/unrwa-reiterates-inviolability-its-installations-must-be-respected-all