Dozens of Gazans broke into a United Nations facility in Gaza on Wednesday and caused great damage to the building. The protesters jumped over the walls, smashed windows and burned tires. The Gazans were protesting the freeze in transfer of funds from the UN for rehabilitating their region. The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry said in a statement that he was “outraged” by the incident.
Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror organization reportedly knew in advance about the “protest” and warned Tuesday the enclave was on the brink of chaos.
“The Special Coordinator is outraged by the assault on the UNSCO (United Nations Special Coordinator) compound in Gaza this morning,” Serry said in his statement Wednesday afternoon, Jan 28, 2015. “During a pre-announced demonstration, of which Hamas was well aware, a number of protestors climbed the perimeter wall and entered the compound causing damage to United Nations premises and property.
“Due to precautionary measures taken, United Nations personnel working in the compound were fortunately unharmed. The Special Coordinator notes with deep concern that, despite repeated assurances, the security forces in Gaza did not take the necessary and timely measures to protect UNSCO’s compound.
“Pending a full transfer of security responsibilities to the legitimate Palestinian Authority, we continue to hold Hamas fully responsible for the security and safety of all United Nations personnel and operations in Gaza. As this serious incident took place in the context of increasing incitement against the United Nations in Gaza, the Special Coordinator is conducting an urgent review of operations in Gaza.
“As reported to the Security Council, the situation in Gaza has become extremely volatile again and will continue to deteriorate unless a number of critical underlying issues are addressed with both determination and a heightened sense of urgency. We also continue to urge donors to support humanitarian operations and fulfill the commitments they have made in Cairo for the reconstruction of Gaza,” the statement said.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) had announced earlier in the week that it has nearly run out of funds to help in rebuilding Gaza due to a huge shortfall in pledged contributions from donor nations.
“Virtually none” of the record $5.4 billion pledged by the international community for the rehabilitation of post-war Gaza months ago has managed to reach grassroots people in the region, Gaza’s UNRWA director Robert Turner said. “This is distressing and unacceptable,” he added, without specifying which countries had defaulted on their pledges or precisely how much was outstanding.
Infrastructure in the enclave was significantly damaged during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge because Hamas and other allied terrorists attacked Israel while embedded within Gaza civilian neighborhoods, using the residents as human shields.
Only $135 million of the promised donations to the UNRWA cash assistance program for 96,000 refugee families made homeless by the war was received, Turner told media. The program is intended to pay for repairs of homes and rent subsidies as well as help rebuild homes that were destroyed in the war.
“While some funds remain available to begin reconstruction of totally destroyed homes,” he said, there is no more money left for repairs and rent subsidies.
In addition, hundreds of Hamas civil service workers have been rioting off and on for weeks as well. Few if any have been paid over the past six months. Nor has the terrorist group received any money from its partner in the Palestinian Authority unity government, the rival Fatah faction based in Ramallah, Samaria.
The Fatah-ruled PA government in Ramallah pays generous monthly salaries to convicted terrorists incarcerated in Israeli prisons, however, some of which are higher than salaries paid to its own government workers.