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Wednesday, December 26, 2012
UNRWA closes West Bank offices amid protests

UNRWA closes West Bank offices amid protests
Published yesterday (updated) 26/12/2012 19:28
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=551294

HEBRON (Ma'an) -- UNRWA is closing three of its West Bank offices because
protests are threatening the safety of its staff, the UN agency for
Palestinian refugees said Wednesday.

The UN Relief and Works Agency said in a statement that it was forced to
close the offices after protests shifted from peaceful demonstrations to
"illegal acts."

During protests, demonstrators stopped UN vehicles and their drivers, and
one vehicle was chased away by protesters carrying stones. A female employee
was treated badly by protesters, the agency said.

Protests have been held in refugee camps across the West Bank over UNRWA's
decision not to renew the contracts of 114 employees due to budget cuts.

"UNRWA reiterates that the decision related to the 114 contracts was the
best possible choice we had. We wanted to avoid harming our services as a
result of budget limitations. As we made clear before, the safety of our
properties and our employees is a red line," the agency said.

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

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