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UN Mourns Death Of Over 100 Employees Killed In Gaza

The UN Palestine Refugee Agency (UNRWA) has recorded the highest death toll during the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. Over 100 UNRWA employees have died in Gaza. The current conflict is the deadliest one yet for UN employees. 


 


Reuters, an online news agency, interviewed UNRWA officials. These officials stated that some UN workers died while waiting to collect bread, while others faced death along with their families in their homes. 


 


Israel is currently conducting aerial strikes against Hamas in densely populated regions of Gaza. These attacks are a response to cross-border attacks the terrorist group carried out against the Israeli community. The conflict is having a devastating effect on civilians in both countries. 


 


Phillipe Lazzarini from UNRWA states that over 100 UN employees have been confirmed dead in just a month. These employees were parents, teachers, doctors, nurses, support staff, etc. UNRWA is currently mourning the deaths of 101 confirmed colleagues. 


 


Juliette Touma, the Director of UNRWA, states, “The deaths of our employees go to show what is happening to Gazans. These people just happened to work for the UN. No civilian along the Gaza Strip should have died."


 


UN staff worldwide will hold vigil and observe a moment of silence. On Monday, the flags will fly at half-mast.


 


Israel has blamed Hamas for the unprecedented deaths of Gazans. They claim that Hamas militants are using the densely populated region as a human shield and storing arms and ammunition around hospitals. 


 


The last deadly conflict UN workers experienced was in 2011 in Nigeria, when a suicide bomber entered the Abuja office and killed 46 workers. 


 


Ongoing Conflicts Lead To Death Of UN Workers


The South Sudan conflict has killed 33 UN workers. Another 33 people died in Afghanistan during the 2009 U.S. and Taliban conflict. The Aid Worker Security Database, a U.S.-based online database, records losses faced by aid workers worldwide. 


 


As per the database, seven non-Palestinian aid workers also died in Gaza. 


 


International laws and regulations protect aid workers during conflict; however, there have been cases where they ended up in court for allegedly violating rules and regulations. It makes it difficult for future aid workers to carry out their tasks, as authorities view them as impediments.


 


Establishment of UNRWA


The United Nations Relief and Workers Agency, or UNRWA, was started in 1949 following the first Arab-Israeli war. The agency provides help in the form of healthcare, education, and other aid. The majority of the 5,000+ staff working in Gaza are Palestinian refugees themselves. 


 


As per UN staff rules, employees are due compensation in the event of death, including funeral costs. However, UNRWA has hit a financial slump and cannot raise salaries this year.


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Tags: #Gaza #Hamas #Israel #Conflict #UnitedNations #AidWorkers #Relief



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