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Refugees threaten further strikes against UNRWA

Dec. 30, 2012 7:16 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 31, 2012 2:46 P.M.)
JERICHO (Ma'an) -- Popular committee heads in West Bank refugee camps on Sunday threatened more protests against the UN agency giving services to the camps.

They wrote to UNRWA operations director Felipe Sanchez over the cutbacks which the UN agency says is necessary due to a drop in aid.

Protests have blocked off UNRWA facilities in the West Bank several times in recent weeks, after the agency announced it is unable to renew the contracts of 114 employees.

The popular committee chiefs wrote to Sanchez: "Dialogue is the shortest ways to solve the current problem and in case you insist on your policy of turning your back to refugees, we will announce a whole strike in all camps."

UNRWA says the layoffs are the "best possible choice."

"We wanted to avoid harming our services as a result of budget limitations," the agency said in a statement last week.

UNRWA asked the Palestinian Authority to put an end to the protests, which it said were disrupting operations.

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