(JTA) — Dozens of protesters in Gaza stormed a U.N. compound after the United Nations announced that it was halting payments to Gaza families due to lack of funds.
The protesters crowded in front of the building and damaged its property Wednesday, one day after UNRWA, the U.N. agency tasked with aiding Palestinian refugees, said it would stop the coastal strip’s reconstruction process, according to Haaretz. UNRWA said it has received almost none of the $5.4 billion pledged by countries at a Gaza aid conference in October.
Robbert Serry, the U.N. special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, said in a statement that Hamas, the terrorist group that governs Gaza, should have prevented the protest.
“The special coordinator is outraged by the assault on the [U.N. special coordinator’s] compound in Gaza this morning,” the statement said, according to Haaretz. “During a pre-announced demonstration, of which Hamas was well aware, a number of protesters climbed the perimeter wall and entered the compound, causing damage to United Nations premises and property. Due to precautionary measures taken, United Nations personnel working in the compound were fortunately unharmed.”
During the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza last summer, tens of thousands of Palestinian homes were damaged or destroyed.