Attacks by Palestinians force closing of UN West Bank offices

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RAMALLAH — The United Nations has closed several offices in the West
Bank amid attacks on staff.

The UN Relief and Works Agency said it closed three offices in the West
Bank. The agency said the closure stemmed from “illegal acts” by the

UNRWA is closing three of its West Bank offices because of threats to the safety of its staff, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees said.

“We wanted to avoid harming our services as a result of budget
limitations,” UNRWA said. “As we made clear before, the safety of our
properties and our employees is a red line.”

In a statement on Dec. 26, the agency said Palestinians attacked UN
staffers. The statement said UNRWA vehicles were pursued by stone-throwers, and a woman employee was abused by Palestinians.

The protests were sparked by UNRWA’s decision not to renew the contracts of 114 employees. The agency cited budget cuts amid a shortfall in donations.

“UNRWA reiterates that the decision related to the 114 contracts was the
best possible choice we had,” the agency said.

The agency said the Palestinian Authority was asked to provide security
for UN staffers. The statement said the Palestinian protesters were
disrupting operations.

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