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Good morning, this is Paula. Philippe Lazzarini was in Geneva yesterday as he sought to convince countries to restore support for Unrwa, which millions of Gazans and Palestinians elsewhere depend on. In an interview with Le Temps, translated by Geneva Solutions, the chief of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees warned of Israel's true motives behind the allegations it has waged against the agency and that it has yet to prove.

Meanwhile, a verdict comes nearly five years after bodyguards of Cameroon’s president Paul Biya attacked a Swiss journalist covering protests against the regular Hotel Intercontinental resident. And the UN Human Rights Office says returning Syrians face abuse.

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Paula Dupraz-Dobias


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Philippe Lazzarini in Geneva, 13 February 2024. (Mark Henley/Panos Pictures for Le Temps)

Philippe Lazzarini: ‘Israel is targeting Unrwa to have it dismantled’ Israel has accused about a dozen of Unrwa’s workers of taking part in the Hamas attack on 7 October, prompting most of the top donors to the UN agency assisting Palestinian refugees to suspend funding pending investigations. The Israeli government has yet to substantiate the allegations. Philippe Lazzarini, Unrwa’s commissioner general, says the move is deliberately “targeting” the organisation to have it disbanded for political reasons.

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