Commissioner-General of UNRWA Philippe Lazzarini said that the agency did not know what is under its headquarters in Gaza, referring to reports through the media regarding a tunnel under the UNRWA Headquarters in Gaza.

UNRWA staff left its headquarters in Gaza City on 12 October following the Israeli evacuation orders and as bombardment intensified in the area, Lazzarini wrote on X.

"We have not used that compound since we left it nor are we aware of any activity that may have taken place there," he said, adding "We understand, through media reporting, that the Israeli Army has deployed troops within the UNRWA Headquarters in Gaza City. We are therefore unable to confirm or otherwise comment on these reports."

In times of "no active conflict" UNRWA inspects inside its premises every quarter, the last inspection for the UNRWA Gaza premises was completed in September 2023, Lazzarini pointed out.

The Commissioner-General said that UNRWA is a Human development and humanitarian organization that does not have the military and security expertise nor the capacity to undertake military inspections of what is or might be under its premises.

In the past, whenever suspicious cavity was found close to or under UNRWA premises, protest letters were promptly filed to parties to the conflict, and the matter was consistently reported in annual reports presented to the General Assembly and made public, he added.

These recent media reports merit an independent inquiry that is currently not possible to undertake given Gaza is an active war zone, he underlined.

The Israeli entity's authorities have not informed UNRWA officially about the alleged tunnel, Lazzarini said. (QNA)
Related Story