Türkiye expresses ‘solid, unwavering’ support for UNRWA


Türkiye expressed its solid and unwavering support for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, or UNRWA, on Wednesday. 

Speaking at a UN Security Council session on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmet Yildiz conveyed his appreciation to UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini for “his efforts to fulfill UNRWA’s mandate under extremely challenging circumstances.”

Noting that “the suffering in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is at unprecedented levels,” Yildiz stressed that the occupied West Bank “is under immense tension with settler violence and growing Israeli atrocities against the Palestinian people.”

With illegal settlements, the demolition of houses, forced evictions and land confiscations continuing daily, he reminded that at least 7,000 people had been arrested since Oct. 7 “for no reason.”

“Gaza faces the most formidable man-made disaster in modern ages. Unseen destruction and massacres take place before our eyes. It is tormenting, heart-breaking,” he stressed.

He highlighted the magnitude of the death toll and added that people are on the brink of famine.

“A whole generation is being lost to violence and a vicious cycle of indignation and impoverishment. This is insulting to our humanity,” he added.

Recalling that UN Security Council resolutions demanding a cease-fire as well as the International Court of Justice’s preliminary measures have not been implemented, Yildiz underscored that international law is being “brazenly breached.”

“Against this painful backdrop, UNRWA shines as a beacon of hope. For the Palestinian people. For us all,” he noted.

He highlighted that UNRWA and its teams have been “selfless in distributing food and providing teaching as well as medical and social services among other essential tasks” while recalling that more than 200 UN personnel have been killed in Gaza in Israeli attacks.

“Yet the Israeli government continues to pursue its defamatory campaign to discredit the agency, although its allegations have not been substantiated,” he added.

He reminded that “UNRWA was envisioned as a temporary entity by the General Assembly when its mandate was first enforced in 1949 following the mass deportations of the Palestinians from their own lands.”

“UNRWA represents the right of return, dignity.

“UNRWA tells us that the Palestinian question is alive,” he added.

He underscored that “UNRWA is a political, legal, humanitarian and moral responsibility of the international community until a just solution based on the two-state vision is realized.”

Expressing Türkiye’s “solid, unwavering” support for UNRWA, he further called on member states to “ensure that UNRWA continues its critical work.”

“Türkiye, as the chair of the Working Group on the Financing of UNRWA and a regular contributor, will continue to make every effort contributing to the invaluable work of the agency,” he added.

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