Palestinians Riot Over UNRWA Strike

JALAZOUN (Reuters) -

At least 50 people were hurt on Sunday in a clash between Palestinian police and residents of a refugee camp protesting against a strike in a U.N. aid agency that paralyzed services, police and an ambulance service said.

The demonstration, in Jalazoun camp, was the most violent in a series of protests over the past week stemming from a more than month-old strike for higher pay by local employees of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

UNRWA, which employs more than 5,000 Palestinians in 19 camps for 730,000 refugees, has been forced to shut schools, clinics and suspend trash collection at the camps since the strike began.

Adnan Al-Dmairi, spokesman of the Palestinian security forces, said they sympathized with refugee camp residents but would not tolerate disorder.

A police spokesman said at least 40 policemen were hurt by rocks thrown by protesters, who also blocked roads and burned tires. Police responded by hurling stones at the crowd and firing tear gas and live ammunition into the air.