UN agency for Palestinian refugees evacuates Gaza staff amid mounting protests
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UN agency for Palestinian refugees evacuates Gaza staff amid mounting protests

International body's relief work said nine personnel are being moved to Jerusalem temporarily as sometimes violent demonstrations take place

Palestinian protesters run for cover from teargas fired by Israeli troops during a protest at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, Friday, April 6, 2018. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)
Palestinian protesters run for cover from teargas fired by Israeli troops during a protest at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, Friday, April 6, 2018. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees is evacuating international staff in Gaza following mounting protests along the border.

The UN Relief and Works Agency’s operations director Matthias Schmale said nine international personnel occupying “non-essential jobs” are being temporarily moved to Jerusalem.

The UNRWA is coping with a severe financial crisis after the US administration cut 300 million dollars in planned 2018 funding.

The agency fired 113 Gaza staff on its emergency programme and turned hundreds of positions into part-time jobs, triggering a series of protests and strikes.

Mr Schmale, who remains in Gaza, said the management “can’t function properly” under the conditions.

The UNRWA provided food and basic services to 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were forced from their homes in the 1948 war surrounding Israel’s creation.

Today it serves five million refugees and their descendants, 1.3 million in Gaza alone.

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