Reprinted from Honest Reporting.
Five months after being declared ‘persona non grata’ in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, Matthias Schmale has left UNRWA.
Schmale had directed the controversial Palestinian refugee agency’s Gaza operations. After May’s conflict, he was forced out for acknowledging that Israeli retaliatory airstrikes did not target civilians.
Following protests and threats, Schmale apologized but Gaza-based terrorist groups led by Hamas still banished him. On November 15, Schmale announced on Twitter he was leaving UNRWA.
While no reason was provided, UNRWA Deputy Commissioner Lenny Steinseth reportedly condemned Schmale’s comments and thanked Hamas for its “ongoing willingness to cooperate.” On Schmale’s last day, Hamas urged countries to increase support for UNRWA.
Meanwhile, Thomas White has replaced Schmale in Gaza. He was welcomed by a Hamas official who wished him a “pleasant stay” and vowed “nothing but respect.”
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