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UNRWA Condemns the Killing of UN Staff Member in the Occupied West Bank
Statement by Chris Gunness UNRWA Spokesman
Jerusalem 26 August 2013
UNRWA deeply regrets to confirm that one of its staff members, a 34-year-old father of four, was shot dead by Israeli forces and killed instantly in an operation in Kalandia refugee camp in the occupied West Bank at approximately seven o'clock this morning. Credible reports say that he was on his way to work and was not engaged in any violent activity. He was shot in the chest. Another UNRWA staff member, a sanitation laborer, was shot in the leg during the same operation and is in a stable condition. An UNRWA investigation is ongoing.
Today’s killing took place during an incursion into Kalandia refugee camp during which three people in total were killed and about twenty injured, some of them seriously.
UNRWA condemns the killing of its staff member and calls on all sides, at this delicate time, to exercise maximum restraint and to act in accordance with obligations under international law.
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UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA programme budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s programme budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals. UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.4 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.
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