Wednesday, Sept. 02
Latest News
  1. Gunmen kills 2 Yemeni staff of Red Cross
  2. Iran to confiscate cars of 'poorly veiled' women
  3. 'At least 50 dead' in Shebab attack on AU base
  4. Thousands arrive in Athens as migrant influx piles pressure on EU
  5. Millions strike in India over 'anti-labor reforms'
  6. Turkish connection probed in Bangkok bomber search
  7. Italy ready to impose border controls after Germany request
  8. Israel opposes Palestinian flag-raising at the UN
  9. Saudi top cleric slams Iran prophet movie
  10. Qatar to enforce key labor reform from November
  11. Lebanon government powerless as protesters escalate campaign
  12. Car bomb kills 10 in Syria regime bastion Latakia
  13. Gunmen kidnap 18 Turks in Iraq capital
  14. Palmyra temple destruction a 'crime against civilization'
  15. Saudi-led coalition air strikes in south Yemen kill 20
  16. Lebanon police ejecting protesters from ministry
  17. Libya car bomb wounds one, damages office of Eni firm
  18. UN envoy to meet with Libya's Tripoli parliament ahead of talks
  19. Border agency: Migrants using fake Syrian passports to enter EU
  20. Migrant trains arrive in Austria as crisis deepens

Protesters shut down UNRWA offices after layoffs

Dec. 11, 2012 9:31 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 14, 2012 9:34 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Labor leaders at Palestinian refugee camps on Tuesday shut down all UNRWA sub-offices in the West Bank in protest of the dismissal of 130 employees and reductions of services.

Munthir Amira, director of the youth center of Aida refugee camp, told Ma'an that "it is time that UNRWA's administration realize that the plight of Palestinian refugees can't be a political trade or an opportunity for Western employees to seek livelihood."

In al-Jalazoun refugee camp near Ramallah, young men closed the UNRWA office protesting the reduction of services, according to a member of the local popular committee. He highlighted that the decision to discharge 130 employees would result in more reductions.

In the southern West Bank's al-Arrub camp, the popular committee installed a sit-in tent after they closed the local UNRWA office. "We will go on with our protests until UNRWA retracts the unjust procedures against us," said Ahmad Abu Khayran, head of the popular committee.

In al-Amari, in the central West Bank, local popular committees also closed the UNRWA office, and similar protests were held in Balata camp in the north.

The protests came days after popular committees in the West Bank wrote a letter to the director of UNRWA operations, Felipe Sanchez, asking him to reverse the decision to discharge 130 employees, and to bring an end to what protesters say is a reduction in services.

"The UNRWA policy in the West Bank became unacceptable. Reductions affect only the services, while the high-ranking executives who receive very high salaries still enjoy privileges which ministers in rich countries do not enjoy," said Imad Abu Sunbul, a spokesman for the West Bank refugee camps.

"If UNRWA is really having a budget deficit, let them reduce expenses on the high-ranking executives whose salaries have not been affected by the reductions which started more than 10 years ago.

"It is unbelievable that a sick refugee pays 40 percent of his healthcare costs, while foreign employees enjoy countless privileges including shopping, trips and five-star hotels across the Middle East at the expense of the refugees."

An UNRWA spokesman in Jerusalem did not immediately return calls late Tuesday.
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015