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UNRWA closes shelters for displaced Gazans

June 18, 2015 11:31 A.M. (Updated: July 11, 2015 11:48 P.M.)
Palestinian boys are seen in a makeshift bedroom at a UN-run school in Gaza. (AFP/Mahmud Hams)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) announced Thursday the closure of all remaining shelters the agency had created to accommodate Gazans who were left homeless as a result of the Israeli military offensive last summer.

The shelters were closed with the consent of the displaced Palestinians who were using the shelters, UNRWA media adviser Adnan Abu Hasna said.

"No pressure has been exerted on them," he said, emphasizing that UNRWA had worked hard to guarantee that those displaced by war could live in dignity in the shelters.

Abu Hasna added that UNRWA had rented and paid for new houses for displaced Palestinians for the next four months.

According to an UNRWA-affiliated radio station, the agency's ability to continue to pay for rentals as well as rebuilding homes damaged or destroyed by Israeli forces during last summers war would depend on contributions by donor countries, which have largely failed to uphold promises of aid to the war-ravaged coastal enclave.

About 300,000 Palestinians whose homes were destroyed by Israeli forces have been staying temporarily in over 90 sheltering centers run by UNRWA since August 2014.

Prior to the war, UNRWA already struggled to meet the needs of Palestinians living in eight refugee camps throughout the Gaza Strip, where 1.1 million of the 1.5 Palestinian million residents are refugees driven from present-day Israel.

Earlier this month, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emphasized that UNRWA was not intended to support Palestinians for such a sustained period of time.

“UNRWA was never meant to exist for this long. It exists because of political failure. In the absence of a just and lasting solution to the plight of Palestinian refugees, UNRWA has become more than an agency. It is a lifeline,” Ki-moon said.
Comments
Outlier / USA
UNRWA is an ineffective and unappreciated lifeline that should close.
18/06/2015 20:05
Tibi / Tubas
-1- Maybe The "Free Lunch" Is Finally Over, and also the
Free Schools, Free Hospitals, and International Donations, and
-2- The 3rd- and 4th-Generation (Not Really) "Refugees" will
have to start working for their livings, just like everyone else !!
18/06/2015 21:15
Tibi / Tubas
-1- Maybe The "Free Lunch" Is Finally Over, and also the
Free Schools, Free Hospitals, and International Donations, and
-2- The 3rd- and 4th-Generation (Not Really) "Refugees" will
have to start working for their livings, just like everyone else !!
18/06/2015 21:24
penny / USA
Israel needs to return the land it stole so that the refugee problem could be solved. The UN needs to stand up to the apartheid state and have it abide by international law. Forcing people out of their homes and building illegal settlements is against international law. Palestinians need justice!
27/06/2015 08:04
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