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Israel reportedly threatens to expel UN official

Robert Piper, UN deputy special coordinator for the Middle East peace process as well as humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories, visits the damaged building of an NGO working with disabled children
Mohammed Abed (AFP/File)
Last week, Piper released a statement critical of Israeli military control over the West Bank

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs is demanding that a United Nations staffer be replaced after learning of comments he made that were critical of Israel, Walla news site reported.

Israel is also threatening to revoke the residency permit of the staffer, Robert Piper, who works as the United Nations humanitarian aid and development coordinator.

Last week, Piper released a press statement critical of the Israeli government on the fiftieth anniversary of the Six Day War and its subsequent military control over the Palestinian territories.

"Occupation is ugly," said Piper, who is a native of Australia. "Living under foreign military rule for years on end, generates despair, suffocates initiative and leaves generations in a kind of political and economic limbo."

If Piper's tenure is not terminated, Israel said that it would be difficult to continue working with him, which could harm coordination of humanitarian aid to the Palestinians living in West Bank and Gaza.

Piper has been working with various humanitarian group and UN development agencies for nearly thirty years. Since 2015, he has served as the "Special Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs and Development for the Occupied Palestinian Territory."

In the past two years, he has delivered a series of statements that caused resentment and anger in Jerusalem.

Piper wrote in his statement: Israeli government "policies have violated international humanitarian law as well as the human rights instruments to which Israel is a party...

The statement added that "Israel’s occupation is backed by force. Accompanying that ever-present security apparatus have been deliberate policies that have isolated Palestinian communities from each other, ruptured social cohesion, profoundly limited economic activity and deprived many of their basic rights – of movement, of expression, of access to health and much more."

Earlier this year, Piper criticized Israel for its land, air and sea blockade of Gaza, now entering its tenth year.

As of press time, the UN had not responded to requests for comment, Walla reported.



The UN is a joke. toss them out

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