The new Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) Pierre Krahenbuhl pledged, yesterday, to defend Gaza and to work hard to end the blockade.Krahenbuhl said, according to the Middle East Monitor, that all United Nations human rights reports, human rights organisations’ reports and journalistic reports could not reflect the continuous suffering and isolation of the Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip.

He said that he arrived in Gaza just hours ago, and that he did not travel there in order to get facts and numbers but to see, defend and show his solidarity with the refugees, noting that his first impression about Gaza is ‘wires and separation wall’, which reminded him of what his predecessor said: ‘The longest and most famous siege of Leningrad.’ He stressed that Gaza is living under ‘illegal’ collective punishment.

Krahenbuhl said UNRWA provided aid to 80,000 refugees in Gaza in 2000. Today, the number is 800,000 and rising.