Dozens of Palestinians protested on Monday outside the headquarters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza demanding the UN body to fulfil its commitments and pay the compensations they are entitled to.
Owners of destroyed homes in the Israeli war on Gaza Strip in 2014 set rubber tires on fire, threw stones and eggs at the UN building, and prevented employees from entering or leaving.
Spokesperson for those affected Abdulhadi Muslim said the demonstration is a message to UNRWA and warned that it will be followed by other similar messages.
He told reporters in Gaza that after nine years of patience, waiting is no longer possible.
Muslim complained that the UNRWA pledged to pay the bills for any repair and construction of the damaged homes, but it failed to fulfill its promise.
The UN body had counted the damage caused by the 2014 51-day war, the longest Israeli attack on Gaza since the Hamas movement took over the enclave in 2007.
It said that over 12,600 housing units were totally destroyed and almost 6,500 sustained severe damage during the conflict.
“Almost 150,000 additional housing units sustained various degrees of damage and remained inhabitable,” it revealed.
UNRWA prepared lists of the names of the affected people and asked them to make the repairs at their expense, pledging that they will be compensated later.
The owners of the houses have yet to receive any funds.
Despite pledges worth billions of dollars by donor countries to reconstruct Gaza, a real rebuilding process has to get underway due to political and security hurdles.
Mohammed al-Najjar, one of those affected by the conflict, said: “We have been suffering for eight years. UNRWA is only procrastinating.”
This issue has deepened after more houses were damaged in subsequent Israel offensives against Gaza over the years.
Leading member of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine Mahmoud Khalaf called on UNRWA to pay for those affected during Israeli wars on Gaza in 2014, 2021 and 2022 and reconstruct their houses.
He described UNRWA’s failure to fulfil its promises a “disgrace,” noting that it aligns with Israel’s goal to prolong the suffering of the people of Gaza.
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