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Protests in Gaza against UNRWA name change

July 6, 2011 6:38 P.M. (Updated: July 7, 2011 12:20 P.M.)
GAZA (Ma’an) -- The popular committee for Palestinian refugees intends to organize a sit-in protest in front of Gaza UNRWA offices on Tuesday, after reports said that the organization is changing its name.

Mueen Okal, head of the popular committee, said the sit-in will be peaceful.

Changing the name of the organization will carry many implications that will affect the services offered to Palestinian refugees, he added.

UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, is reportedly considering changing its name to the United Nations Agency for Palestinian Refugees.

"We demanded from the UNRWA to explain the idea behind the change but we received no response and they keep telling us that the matter is still under consideration," Okal said.

A statement added that the committee has begun talks with UNRWA officials, but they have not offered a convincing argument to why the words “relief" and "works” have been omitted from the title.

The committee insists that changing UNRWA's name would pave the way for relinquishing part of its commitment towards the refugees.

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