Press Releases

Witness strongly condemns the repeated aggressions on the staff of UNRWA and its institutions

"Witness" strongly condemns the repeated aggressions on the staff of UNRWA and its institutions 
and asking to provide the legal protection 

The Palestinian Association for Human Rights "Witness" condemns the blatant assault on the secondary assistant director of Deir Yassin the secondary UNRWA school at Al Bass camp Mr. Issa al-Hanafi and the teacher Mona Taha and the former doorkeeper Fadwa Al Masri. According to what reported by the delegates of "witness" in Tyre area of that while he was attending the ceremony that honoring the students who have succeeded in the official certification for the academic year 2011-2012 at AL Bass camp on Saturday, 22/09/2012 about half past nine at night ,the audience's heard unfamiliar noise, and have watched a group consisting of several members ( who were known to all) chasing Mr. Issa Hanafi the assistant director to the management office and directly beaten him on his face, and when his colleague the teacher Mona Taha tried to defend him and to stop the aggression youngsters, they slapped her by the palm of their hand on her face ,so the former door keeper Mrs. Fadwa Al Masri who was attending the party and witness the event tried to intervene and to prevent them, they directly by force take off her head cover or veil and were beaten and insulted her.
This event happened during the presence of the directors of Tyre and Sidon areas of the UNRWA Mr. Fawzi Kassab and his colleague Mr. Mahmoud El Sayed. This event was spoiled the successful party and annoyed greatly the students, their parents, their teachers, and caused an atmosphere of terror and anxiety for all the participants who feared from using weapons or sharp objects that may cause dangerous results.
We in "Witness" had previously warned, in many occasions, from the aggression on UNRWA employees and its institutions and we have issued in many similar situations, strongly denounced against these acts, so we as a Palestinian human rights institution emphasize the following:
  • UNRWA should take up their responsibilities to ensure the legal protection of its employees and its institutions, and convert all those who violate the sanctity of these institutions to the competent Lebanese judiciary. And consider any aggression on UNRWA workers and any attitude that followed as a telling statement for the Lebanese public prosecution.
  • Condemn the aggression on UNRWA staff and centers, and calls the officials in the camps to protect these centers and to put an end to such aggressions from any one.
  • Hold the criminal and civil liability directly for aggressor individuals.
  • Commends on positive responsible positions of the "Union Staff of UNRWA” in Lebanon as well as the position of the Palestinian Teachers Association in Lebanon towards this incident.
  • The right of expression in all forms is guaranteed in the local and international laws but without any objection with the rights of others.
Beirut 24/09/2012
Palestinian Association for Human Rights "Witness"