Israel refusal to grant visas to UN staff could impact aid work: UN
Middle East – The United Nations expressed concerns, Thursday, that Israel’s refusal to grant entry visas to UN personnel could affect humanitarian work in Palestine, Anadolu News Agency reports.
Spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, said it could have a significant long-term effect on the humanitarian community’s ability to support Palestinians in need.
“We’re, of course, remaining engaged with the Israeli authorities on this issue and we hope it does get resolved,” he added.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry refused to issue visas to officials from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), accusing employees from the aid agency of “under-counting” the number of Israeli civilians who are killed or injured in “Palestinian terror attacks”.
Israel withheld entry visas for newly appointed personnel of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the Occupied Territories, Palestinian news agency, Wafa reported. With the latest obstruction, this brings the number of OCHA staff documenting Israeli human rights violations who have been denied entry to 20.
UN spokesperson, Stephane, expressed concerns that this would have significant long-term ramifications on OCHA’s ability and that of the broader humanitarian community to support Palestinians in need. “The impact of this on OCHA’s work in planning the humanitarian response for 2023 is already being felt,” Stephane is reported saying.
The ministry said: “OCHA is accused of reporting the killing or harming of Israeli civilians under disputed circumstances while taking reports of Palestinian casualties at face value and assigning blame to Israel, including in clashes between IDF forces and Palestinian militants.”