- Written by Zaha Hassan Zaha Hassan
- Published: 03 August 2018 03 August 2018
“Continuing services to refugees is a right, not a handout.”
This was the message last week of one of the thousands in Gaza who came out to protest the UN Relief and Works Agency’s (UNRWA) decision to not renew 154 employment contracts in the occupied Palestinian territory. Despite UNRWA’s best efforts, it has not been able to make up its current $250 million budget shortfallresulting from the U.S. decision to slash its contributions to the refugee agency.
Almost 12,500 Palestinians in Gaza are dependent on an UNRWA paycheck, which in many cases helps sustain more than just the nuclear family in the enclave where the unemployment rate is over 40%. It is unclear whether there will be enough funding for the 262,000 children in Gaza’s UNRWA schools to return to their classrooms this academic year.
The existential threat facing UNRWA is deliberate, and so are the dire consequences for the 5.3 million registered refugees it serves. President Donald Trump and his Middle East Team headed by advisor, Jared Kushner, have latched onto the idea that humanitarian relief may be used as leverage to force the Palestinian leadership back to a negotiating table set by Israel. Leaked details of the Kushner-crafted peace plan indicate that it is nothing more than a souped up, donor-infused version of the status quo that Israel seeks to have legitimated with the signature of President Mahmoud Abbas. The Palestinian leader has infuriated the Administration by refusing to engage with it on these terms and so the Administration—along with the Republican-controlled Congress—has been tightening the financial noose around Palestinians.
The idea of weaponizing humanitarian assistance provided to Palestinians is not new but it has never before found the currency it now has in the White House. Of late, right-wing think tanks, pro-“Greater Israel” Washington lobby groups and the “no daylight between Israel and the U.S.” politicians have been peddling the fiction that humanitarian relief to Palestinian refugees has been growing by leaps and bonds. They argue that aid money that maintains the camp infrastructure and enables the provision of essential services and work opportunities perpetuates refugeehood.
- Written by Jewish Voice for Peace Health Advisory Council Jewish Voice for Peace Health Advisory Council
- Published: 26 April 2018 26 April 2018
The Jewish Voice for Peace Health Advisory Council (JVP HAC) issues this statement out of grave concern about the Israeli Military’s use of excessive force, including live ammunition and tear gas against protesters in Gaza. For the past four Fridays, demonstrators within Gaza were met by the Israeli military firing live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, and teargas across the border fence. The disproportional response of the Israeli military to a mostly unarmed civilian demonstration reflects a disregard for the basic human rights of Palestinians and for the safety and health of the people of the besieged Gaza Strip, where dire humanitarian conditions exist. This military response violates international law. Of further concern is the obstruction by the Israeli and the United States governments to the United Nations’ issuing a statement condemning these actions.
According to the New York Times, the Israeli military response to these protests has resulted in 37 deaths (4 people under the age of 18) and over 3000 wounded.
Over 1000 of the wounded were hit by live ammunition, 300 by rubber-coated bullets, and 1000 by large doses of tear gas. Among those targeted were journalists (wearing identifying vests)—1 was killed and at least 6 have been wounded, and medics. Those with lethal wounds were shot in the chest, the back, and abdomen. Many also had been shot in the legs, pelvis, and hands. There have been no Israeli injuries.
- Written by Basem Tamimi with the Avaaz team Basem Tamimi with the Avaaz team
- Published: 25 January 2018 25 January 2018
Days ago soldiers stormed my house in the dead of night and dragged my 16-year-old daughter to prison. Now my little girl is in a cold cell.
I have dedicated my life to civil resistance. That's why the army is holding my baby -- they want to crush our spirit. But I have been a member of Avaaz for eight years -- I have seen the power of this community if we all stand together against injustice.
My little girl's case goes to court on 31 January -- but Israel's military courts convict 99% of Palestinians, even if they are kids. Please join my urgent call below with one click -- we’ll deliver it directly to global leaders:
Help free my daughter Ahed
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