Hamas vows support for UNRWA workers staging ‘mutiny’

Agency director admits employees protesting layoffs have seized partial control of Gaza headquarters, but unaware of solidarity visit by Hamas official

UNRWA employees protest against job cuts

Agence France Press and Times of Israel staff report, “A senior Hamas official on Thursday pledged the terror group’s support for employees of the UN agency for Palestinians, who have seized partial control of the agency’s Gaza headquarters in order to protest sweeping pay cuts and dismissals blamed on US funding cuts. The director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza accused the workers union of staging a “mutiny” over the job cuts, and admitted UNRWA does not have full control over its offices in Gaza City.”

““I am the captain of the ship which has 13,000 sailors on it and they have basically thrown me off the bridge and consigned me to my captain’s quarters,” Matthias Schmale told AFP, referring to the number of employees in Gaza. ‘They have taken over the compound where my office and other offices are,” he said, explaining that he has not been able to work from his office for over two weeks.’ Last month, UNRWA announced that more than 250 staff in Gaza and the West Bank would lose their jobs, after a $300 million cut in annual funding from the United States. UNRWA provides support for more than three million Palestinians across the Middle East, including the majority of Gaza’s two million residents.” (more…)


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