Unrest in Gaza and the West Bank


The United Nations humanitarian agency has suspended aid services to Palestinians in Gaza after demonstrators stormed its headquarters.

Protestors broke into the compound of the United Nations Relief and Welfare Agency building in Gaza city in reaction to UNRWA’s decision temporarily to stop relief payments to Palestinian families.

Robert Turner, head of the UNRWA’s Gaza operations, said: "What happened today was completely unacceptable. The situation could very easily have resulted in serious injuries to staff and to the demonstrators. This escalation, apparently pre-planned, was unwarranted and unprecedented."

He added: "All relief and distribution centres will consequently remain closed until guarantees are given by all relevant groups that UNRWA operations can continue unhindered.”

Meanwhile, in the West Bank, Palestinian protestors have clashed with Israeli soldiers following the funeral of a 64-year-old Palestinian who died of cancer whilst serving a life sentence in an Israeli prison.

Thousands of Palestinians attended the funeral of Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh in Hebron, who had been jailed for attempting to bomb a Jerusalem café. Family members had accused the Israeli authorities of medical negligence.

Following the funeral, young mourners threw stones at Israeli soldiers guarding a nearby settlement. The soldiers retaliated with rubber bullets and tear gas.

One of the protestors, Ahmed Slemeh, 18, said: "The Israelis have killed one of us and we have to resist back. But if we want to achieve our political objectives we have to go on with an intifada. I hope this gets bigger."

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