UAE pledges $15m aid for relief efforts in Jenin

Sheikh Abdullah confirms financial commitment to UN Palestinian refugee agency after days of West Bank violence

A family in Jenin after the Israeli army bulldozed buildings and stormed a refugee camp that it claims harboured militants. AFP
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The UAE has pledged $15 million in aid to support United Nations humanitarian operations in the West Bank city of Jenin after days of deadly violence.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs, said the funds would support the work of the United Nations Relief and Work Agency in the Near East, state news agency Wam reported on Thursday.

He made the commitment in a call to the agency's commissioner general, Philippe Lazzarini.

The financial assistance for the UN agency was made on the directives of President Sheikh Mohamed.

The money will be used to deliver urgent assistance to Palestinian families, particularly those in Jenin, after sustained Israeli attacks.

During the call, Sheikh Abdullah underlined the UAE's commitment to supporting the UN agency to carry out its vital work.

He praised the organisation for its efforts to improve living conditions for Palestinian refugees and expressed gratitude for the work of UNRWA staff in Jenin and its refugee camp.

Death toll after military operation

The Israeli army declared the end of a two-day large-scale military operation in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday after 12 Palestinians and one Israeli soldier were killed.

The operation focused on the northern West Bank city of Jenin, a centre for several armed Palestinian groups. It involved hundreds of troops, drone strikes and armoured bulldozers.

A funeral procession for those killed in Jenin drew thousands of Palestinian mourners, and militants fired guns into the air as the crowd chanted: “With our souls and blood, we will sacrifice for you, martyr!”

During the days of conflict, a Palestinian attacker in Tel Aviv on Tuesday wounded seven Israelis in a car-ramming and stabbing incident before an armed civilian shot him dead.

Overnight, Israel carried out air strikes on targets in the blockaded Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire from the Palestinian coastal enclave – no deaths were reported.

As the army pulled out of Jenin, much of the city's crowded refugee camp was left charred and destroyed, with the incursion displacing at least 3,000 residents.

Sheikh Abdullah emphasised the need for the international community to come together to bring about peace in the region and prevent ceasefire agreements being broken.

He reiterated the UAE's support for all regional and international endeavours in this regard.

He called for an end to actions that undermine the attainment of a two-state solution, and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem, based on 1967 borders, Wam reported.

Mr Lazzarini expressed his appreciation for the UAE's continued support of its relief work, noting that the Emirates had previously donated $20 million to the agency at the start of the year.

Updated: July 06, 2023, 9:14 AM