Politics, Middle East

Hamas warns Israel from closing UN schools in E. J'lem

Israel plans to close all UNRWA-run schools in occupied East Jerusalem, according to media reports

Hamas warns Israel from closing UN schools in E. J'lem

By Nour Abu Aisha

GAZA CITY, Palestine

Palestinian resistance group Hamas on Monday warned Israel against closing schools in occupied East Jerusalem run by the UN’s cash-strapped Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA).

According to Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum, the move would, if carried out, “damage the Palestinian presence [in East Jerusalem] and the rights of Palestinian refugees”.

On Saturday, local media outlets reported that Israel intended to close all UNRWA-run schools in East Jerusalem following the current academic year

Roughly 1,600 Palestinian students are currently enrolled at UNRWA schools in occupied East Jerusalem.

Barhoum described the alleged plan as “part of a Zionist-American scheme to destroy the Palestinian national cause”.

He urged UNRWA to continue providing its services while also calling on the international community -- especially rights groups -- to intervene on behalf of the beleaguered Palestinian people.

UNRWA was established by the UN General Assembly in 1949 with the stated aim of providing aid and protection to Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

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