Press Release

Statement by the UN Country Team in Palestine on the attack against the UNRWA office in East Jerusalem

10 May 2024

Yesterday’s attack at the UNRWA compound in East Jerusalem, after weeks of threats and intimidation, are utterly unacceptable. It is imperative that Israeli authorities take swift action to investigate the incident and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.

It is unacceptable that a UN agency is forced to close its offices due to insecurity, with UN staff physically and verbally threatened while UN property is vandalised. The Hague Regulations of 1907 (article 43), the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 (article 59), and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations of 1946 (article 2), as well as customary international law, clearly outline that it is the responsibility of the host Government and the occupying power of OPT to ensure that United Nations personnel and facilities are protected at all times.

This is not an attack on UNRWA alone, but an assault on the entire UN system operating in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The UN in Palestine demands accountability for these acts, for immediate intervention by law enforcement should similar incidents occur in the future, and for Member States to recognise the longer-term consequences these attacks on the UN will have. 

We must not allow the failure to respect UN facilities to become the new normal.

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