Hundreds of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon held a sit-in in front of the UN headquarters in Beirut today to protest the cuts in health services provided by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). They demanded the agency withdraw its decision.
Demonstrators raised Palestinian flags and held signs in Arabic and English demanding UNRWA back down from its decision and provide health and educational services to refugees.
Hamas representative in Lebanon, Ali Baraka, said: “UNRWA’s decisions lead to the death of Palestinian refugees.” He demanded UNRWA continue to provide services until the refugees return to their homeland.
Baraka called on the Lebanese government to “support the demands of the refugees to serve mutual interests.”
Fathi Abu Al-Ardat, representative of both Fatah and the PLO in Lebanon, called on the UN to “intervene to force UNRWA to back down from its decision”.
Demonstrators stressed that they would continue with their actions “until UNRWA backs down from its decision, which violates the rights of the Palestinians.”
UNRWA in Lebanon issued a decision to adopt a new medical treatment system for Palestinian refugees by lowering the level of the agency’s medical coverage.