The Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad terrorist organization has joined Hamas in denouncing UNRWA, the UN agency that runs school for Palestinians, after its commissioner-general Philippe Lazzarini ordered his Lebanon director to suspend a teacher for inciting terrorism on social media, one of 133 UNRWA staff identified in a report last week by UN Watch and IMPACT-se.
From Quds Press, March 22, 2023:
Scenes of anger and protest continue in the Palestinian camps and gatherings in Lebanon, and the organization of mass popular vigils and marches, denouncing the arrest of teacher Riyad Mustafa by UNRWA due to patriotic publications he shared on social media.
Today, Mr. Jihad Muhammad, the official at the Islamic Jihad movement in Lebanon who is responsible for the UNRWA file, said that what happened with Professor Riyad Mustafa is “unacceptable, rejected, and condemned by all sectors of the Palestinian people.”
Mr. Muhammad told Quds Press that the decision “comes in the context of UNRWA’s submission to the Zionist entity, through the UN Watch non-governmental organization that tracks UNRWA employees, issues reports to distort the agency’s role, and pressures it to influence donor powers to stop its contributions, financial aid, and weakening the financial grants it provides to the Palestinian people.”
He added, “The decision is part of the framework agreement that took place between the US administration and UNRWA, which was concluded between them in order to return the funds that the US administration contributes to the agency, after it was suspended during the era of former US President Donald Trump, and provided for the delivery of financial aid to the refugee community and employees within “specific” conditions.
He explained that the American conditions consisted of “commitment to the principle of neutrality, and that none of the refugees join Palestinian organizations, which means stripping the employee and the refugee of their national and political dimension, which our people categorically reject,” he said.
The Islamic Jihad leader considered that “what happened confirms the complete and complete bias by those in favor of the Zionist entity, to put pressure on the Palestinian refugees in order to accept any of the solutions offered to them, including settlement, or an alternative homeland, and giving up the right of return.”
For his part, a member of the “Independent Unified Palestinian Youth Movement” in Lebanon, Muhammad Abu Qassem, confirmed that “the popular movements against UNRWA in Lebanon are continuing, and in particular, in the Nahr Al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp in the city of Tripoli, northern Lebanon, until UNRWA backs down from its decision against teacher Riyad Mustafa.
Abu Qassem added to Quds Press that “our Palestinian people have the right to express their national feelings, based on their legitimate right guaranteed by international covenants, and the rejection of dictations on the management of UNRWA by Zionist institutions.”
He emphasized that “the unified, independent Palestinian youth movement in all Palestinian camps and gatherings in Lebanon stands on the heart of one man if UNRWA does not back down from its decision.”
For his part, the official of the Mass Action Council in the Islamic Resistance Movement “Hamas”, Raafat Marra, said, “UNRWA’s decision against teacher Riyad Mustafa is unacceptable, and it is a repressive behavior that contradicts the human right to freedom, thought and expression.”
In press statements, he stressed “the unity of the Palestinian political and popular position in Lebanon, supporting the teacher’s cause, and opposing the behavior of UNRWA.”
UNRWA had arrested the teacher Mustafa last Friday, against the background of sharing publications of the Palestinian martyr Ibrahim Al-Nabulsi, who was assassinated by the occupation on August 9, 2022 in Nablus. The agency asked him to surrender all documents related to his work.
Click here for links to photos, videos, statements and social media campaigns by UNRWA staff and Palestinian factions expressing outrage over Mustafa’s suspension.