News   /   Palestine

UN agency chief for Palestinians urges probe into staff killings

UNRWA Commissioner General Philippe Lazzarini

The commissioner-general of UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees, has called for a probe and accountability for what he described as “blatant disregard” for the UN operations in Gaza.

Phillipe Lazzarini, speaking at a UN press briefing, said on Tuesday that 180 UNRWA staff had been killed and 160 premises belonging to the agency were damaged or destroyed as a result of Israel’s genocidal war on the Gaza Strip.

Lazzarini said that he recently "called on the members of the Security Council for an independent investigation and accountability for the blatant disregard of UN premises, UN staff, and UN operations in the Gaza Strip."

He made the remarks a day after an independent report said that the Israeli regime has not provided evidence over its claim that tied some UNRWA members to the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.

The claims by the Israeli regime led to a massive budget deficit as a number of the countries donating to the agency cut off their aid. Lazzarinii said he hoped the donors would resume aid.

Earlier, UNRWA said Israel continues to prevent its food convoys from reaching the north of the Gaza Strip, where food supplies are "a matter of life and death."

UNRWA wrote in a post on X on Tuesday that the agency needs “safe & unimpeded access” to the areas in the north of the besieged strip.

“Food supplies are a matter of life & death,” in the north of Gaza, it said.

It also said four bakeries are reopened in northern Gaza thanks to “critical” support of the World Food Program (WFP).

Last week, Lazzarini warned that across the Gaza Strip, "a man-made famine is tightening its grip.”

In late January, the United States, Britain and some other major donor parties pulled their funding for UNRWA over claims that the agency’s staffers were involved in Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against Israel on October 7, 2023.

In the weeks that followed, donor states suspended or paused some $450 million in funding.

Israel waged its brutal US-backed war on the Gaza Strip on October 7 after the Palestinian Hamas resistance group carried out Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the usurping entity in retaliation for its intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

Israel has been carrying out war crimes in Gaza by deliberately starving people and forcing their evacuation, as well as targeting hospitals and schools sheltering displaced Palestinians. 

Despite all these atrocities, the regime has failed to achieve its declared objectives of “destroying Hamas” and finding Israeli captives held in Gaza.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku