Press Releases

BADIL Calls on the UN Secretary-General to Ensure UNRWA’s Full International Protection
BADIL Calls on the UN Secretary-General to Ensure UNRWA’s Full International Protection


Yesterday’s evening, 9 May 2024, Israeli colonizers attacked UNRWA headquarters in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, setting its perimeter on fire twice, causing extensive damage to the outdoor area, escalating the risk to the lives of UNRWA and other UN Agencies’ staff present at the compound. Due to this outrageous and repeated attack, the UNRWA Commissioner General, Philippe Lazzarini decided: “To close down our compound until proper security is restored”

This recurrent incident falls within a series of ongoing attacks strategically serving the Israeli-led campaign to eliminate UNRWA, and with it, the Palestinian refugee issue. In the Gaza Strip, this campaign manifested in attempts to demonize UNRWA with false allegations of "anti-Semitism" and support for "terrorism", which proved baseless, along with relentless attacks and bombardment, resulting in the destruction of 196 of its facilities and killing 188 of its staff members. Alongside these attacks, Israel also continues to deny Lazzarini’s entry to Palestine, since the Israeli genocidal war on the Gaza Strip started.   

Furthermore, the Israeli colonial-apartheid regime, along with its government officials are exerting additional pressure to terminate UNRWA’s operations and evict its offices in Jerusalem, and allowing Israeli colonizers to further their unsanctioned violent attacks, harassment and intimidation against UNRWA offices and staff.     

Against this background, Israel’s deliberate attacks on UNRWA underscore its unwillingness to fulfill its jurisdictional responsibilities under international law, to protect UNRWA’s premises and staff, as a UN mandated Agency. 

Therefore BADIL and the Global Palestinian Refugee and IDPs Network call on the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres to take all necessary and available measures to ensure that:

  • UNRWA is fully protected and capable of carrying out its mandate in all of its operational areas. 
  • UNRWA offices in East Jerusalem are open and fully functional, and its staff is fully protected according to international law.