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UNRWA says 176 of its staff killed since start of Gaza war

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) reported on Wednesday that it has lost 176 of its staff since the start of the Israeli offensive against Gaza on October 7th.

Anadolu Agency MIDDLE EAST
Published April 03,2024

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) on Wednesday said it lost 176 of its staff since the beginning of the Israeli onslaught against Gaza on Oct. 7.

The agency said in a statement on its X account: "176 UNRWA staff were tragically killed since the beginning of the war in Gaza."

It added that "humanitarian workers are not a target and must be protected at all times."

Israel "continues to deny UNRWA access to the north with food assistance and other basic supplies," the agency noted.

On Tuesday, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric at a news conference said that "at least 196 humanitarian workers have been killed since October" in the Gaza Strip.

He described the Palestinian territory as "one of the world's most dangerous and difficult places to work" for humanitarian aid workers.

The UNRWA is the largest humanitarian organization in Gaza, and is considered as the backbone of the humanitarian aid operations in Gaza.

Following the Israeli accusation that some of the UN agency members were involved in the Oct. 7, 2023 attacks, at least 17 countries, including the US, UK, Australia, and many EU countries, have halted payments to UNRWA, pending an investigation.

However, several countries, including France, Sweden, Canada, and Japan, announced resuming their contributions to UNRWA in the past month.

The agency was created by the UN General Assembly more than 70 years ago to assist Palestinians who were forcibly displaced from their lands.