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Refugees protest UNRWA dismissals

Dec. 13, 2012 6:18 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 14, 2012 4:14 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Refugees continued to protest UNRWA cuts in West Bank camps on Thursday, burning tires and forcing staff from their offices.

Demonstrators shut down the UN agency's offices across the West Bank for the second day in protest over the dismissal of 130 employees and cuts to services.

In Bethlehem, dozens of protesters forced staff from the UNRWA center and burned tires, carrying signs condemning the decision to fire workers.

Sameer Attallah, popular committee member in Aida camp, said demonstrations sent a message to UNRWA's administration and that protests would escalate. He said the cuts were the first stage in withdrawing services to Palestinian refugees.

UNRWA is heavily dependent on voluntary contributions, which it says have not kept pace with the increasing needs of a growing refugee population.
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