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Source: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
29 July 2004

United Nations Relief and Works Agency
for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

UNRWA Headquarters
Gaza 29 July, 2004

Statement by Peter Hansen, Commissioner-General of UNRWA

The deteriorating security situation in the Gaza Strip is a matter of serious concern to me. Recent worrying developments include the extensive Israeli military operations in Beit Hanoun and increased unpredictability and insecurity faced by United Nations staff in crossing into and out of the Gaza Strip at Erez. As a result, I concluded last week that it was necessary to increase the Security phase rating and to relocate a small number of Headquarters staff to Jerusalem to enable them to continue to work in the most effective and efficient manner.

In these difficult and trying times, I acknowledge with gratitude the commitment of all my staff, in particular the 8,300 Palestinians working for UNRWA in the Gaza Strip. They are doing an excellent job under enormous pressure and often in situations of great danger. They deserve everyone’s support, and I call upon all elements of Palestinian society to facilitate their vital work.

Let there be no doubt that UNRWA’s Headquarters and Field Office in Gaza continue to operate fully and will maintain all the services provided to Palestine refugees: education, health, social and emergency relief services. As Commissioner-General, my job is to serve you and I will see to it that no effort is spared to assist you and to alleviate your suffering to the best of our ability.


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