UN relief agency confirms death of staffer in Tulkarem

11 December 2002

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) today confirmed the death of one of its staffers during an Israeli undercover operation last week in Tulkarem.

Maher Aqallah, an UNRWA school attendant, was killed by an Israeli soldier on 3 December when he opened the door to his house, according to the Agency. The circumstances of his death, the fourth UNRWA fatality in the past three weeks, remain unclear.

Last Friday 10 people were killed, including two UNWRA staff, during an Israeli military assault. The attack drew immediate condemnation from the Agency's Commissioner-General, Peter Hansen, who said, "This loss of civilian lives, of people working for a humanitarian UN agency, is completely unacceptable."

On 22 November, another UNRWA worker, Iain Hook, was killed by an Israeli soldier in the Jenin refugee camp. Mr. Hook, who had been managing the rehabilitation of the facility, was fatally wounded by a single bullet while in the UN compound.


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