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The United Nations decided Wednesday to immediately scale back its operations in the Gaza Strip after two Palestinians who worked for a UN agency were killed in the rampant fighting there, a UN spokesman said.
"In view of the increased threats to our staff, UNRWA has no choice but to scale back its operations in Gaza with immediate effect," UN spokesman Christopher Gunness said, referring to the UN agency that deals with Palestinian refugees.
'Palestinians committing war crimes'
The agency would continue providing essential medical services and emergency food distributions, he said.
An UNRWA garbage collector was killed Wednesday afternoon in crossfire from a battle and another worker was shot in northern Gaza on Tuesday and died later in the hospital, Gunness said.
Meanwhile, a one-ton bomb exploded beneath a security headquarters in southern Gaza on Wednesday, killing at least 13 people and nearly destroying the building, Palestinian security officials said.
The bomb was hidden in a tunnel dug under the Preventive Security headquarters in the town of Khan Younis, said Ali Qaisi, a presidential guard spokesman. Witnesses said that before the blast, Hamas militants called on the security officers inside the building to come out or they would blow up the place.
Qaisi said he had reports that many were killed and injured, but security officers were still sifting through the rubble. Medics said at least one person was killed and eight others injured.