The director of UNRWA operations in Gaza, Robert Turner, plans to leave his post in mid-July, after heading the organization in the Strip during two wars between Israel and Hamas – Pillar of Defense in 2012 and Operation Protective Edge in 2014.
“Bob’s contribution has been extraordinary at a very demanding time for the agency and the refugees we serve”, said UNRWA commissioner-general Pierre Krahenbuhl. “His leadership of our response to the Gaza conflict last summer rightly won UNRWA and his team in Gaza widespread admiration.”
Turner, who took up his post in May 2012, said that these last three years have been “the most rewarding and challenging three years of my professional life.” He added, “Rest assured that I will continue to advocate for Gaza and for the Palestine refugees. If there is one lesson I take away, it is that the denial of their right to a just and durable solution remains at the heart of their humanitarian plight. But I refuse to yield to pessimism. Gaza is a place where the human spirit has shown its indomitability time and time again.”