Saturday, April 6, 2013

UN Relief and Works Agency Threatened in Gaza by Protesters

Nadene Goldfoot
As of July 1972 there were about a million Arabs living in the administered areas of Judaea, Samaria, Gaza Strip, North Sinai and Golan Heights.  These are the areas that fell into Israel after winning the 1967 War.  640,600 in Judaea and Samaria (5,900 sq km or 2,270 sq miles
388,600 in Gaza Strip (360 sq. km or 140 sq miles) and North Sinai
   8,000 in Golan Heights (1,250 sq km or 500 sq mi)
1,037,200 Total 

Israel pulled out of Gaza on 17th of August 2005 in the name of Peace. "All of the greenhouses in the 6 cities they evacuated from  were left intact after the Economic Cooperation Foundation  raised $14 million to buy the greenhouses for the Palestinian Authority.  They left greenhouses for the Palestinians that were their businesses but the Palestinians just demolished them.  The Jewish community of 8,600  from Gush Katif, religious Jews,  were some that were forced to leave. In all, 1,700 Jewish families were removed.   70% of Israel's organic produce came from Gaza, which would not be continued by the Gazans.   Shortly afterwards in 2006 started the bombardment of mortars, rockets and  missiles into southern Israel.

Now on April 4th Gazan protesters, used to getting food and cash assistance that is distributed by the UN  Relief and Works Agency daily found out that their behavior of rioting caused the agency  to close down Friday.  The protesters were so angry over the agency's curtailing the cash-assistance program for the poor that they had stormed the agency's main compound in Gaza City on Thursday.  The result is that the food distribution in Gaza Strip has indefinitely been suspended starting on Friday . Adnan Abu-Hasna,  the Palestinian Ambassador,  announced this.    .

815,000 Palestinian refugees, nearly half the population  of 1,657,155 (2011) get nutrition, education, health and other services from this agency.  Evidently they've been doing this since 1948.   The staff felt there was a threat to their life and are greatly concerned about their safety.  Therefore the food-distribution centers and the relief offices will be closed in the coming day unless they receive the proper security they need.  Gaza's population has quadrupled in the past 41 years.  

In the meantime, there are about 160,000 Palestinians living in 12 Palestine Lebanon refugee camps that Lebanon considers stateless.  Nearly 13,000 of those are living in extreme poverty, said Ashraf Dabour.  They are banned from entering anywhere from 20 to 75 professions in Lebanon. I only found that they couldn't be doctors or lawyers.    Practicing these careers would be a breach of Lebanese law.  Though the Lebanese parliament amended the law of restriction to work, the cabinet hasn't put the amendment into effect.  They could work as taxi drivers, construction workers and other menial employment.  They are in competition with Syrian guest workers.

The Palestinian health sector in Lebanon owes the Lebanese  hospitals about $2 million.  The Palestinian health sector  can't afford certain medical procedures and Arab and Palestinian businessmen are urged to help the refugees. Hospitalization in Lebanon's hospitals  are beyond the means of most refugees.   They often face a choice between foregoing essential medical treatment and falling deeply into debt. The PA's Ramallah-based government was doing its best but the PA is facing a financial crisis which reflects in not being able to help the refugees in Lebanon.

402,585-to 436,154  descendants of 1948 refugees registered in Lebanon in March 2005 and then in January  2012.  That makes  10% of their population, and they are listed as foreigners.  They can't attend public schools, own property or leave a will.  This is connected with their contention that they expect to get property back from Israel, thinking they had been landowners and had lost their property.  This would need proof, of course, which I doubt that they have.  Most Arabs were not landowners and real landowners had left "Palestine" for larger and better cities  in other countries such as Paris. In fact most were recent immigrants themselves who left their homelands nearby to look for work from the Jews.

Lebanon also has the problem of having a minority of Christians, and  the Christian Palestinians have been given citizenship.  Most of the rest are Sunni Muslims, but there is a balance of Sunni and Shi'a and taking them in as citizens would upset the balance of the trio.  60,000 Palestinians have citizenship.

"UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight."

The situation today  makes at least 828,000 people who are unskilled and unemployed, unable to take care of themselves.  That's almost 3 generations of people who have not supplied their own needs and the time has come where changes must be made.  A good portion of those working in Gaza are working for UNRWA.  At least they are learning a few skills.  The Arab leaders had insisted that these people stay in refugee camps as they became fodder to use against Israel in propaganda.  Evidently none of the countries who took the refugee camps are out much money as their finances come from the UN.

The Arab community in Israel had at the end of fighting in 1949 about 140,000 left in Israeli territory.  They have increased either by natural increase or re-admission of thousands who had fled when the Arab States attacked Israel.  At the beginning of 1972 the Arabs and Druze numbered 458,500 living in Israel proper.  Almost half lived in about 100 villages and 2/5 in towns including 73,000 in Jerusalem.  The rest were semi-nomadic Bedouin.  75% were Moslems, 17% Christians and 8% Druzes and others.

 As of September 2012, there were 1,636,600 Muslim and Druze citizens of Israel.  They make up 20.6% of the population.  They live on 8,000 sq. miles of land with the rest of the Israelis which is 20% of the promised Jewish Homeland by the British Mandate through the League of Nations.  These are the Arabs whose ancestors did not leave in 1948 at the bid of their leaders.  Those that left were promised an Arab victory that would result in them taking over Jewish land and homes.  It didn't happen.  They went into these refugee camps instead.

Oregonian Newspaper 4/6/13 page A4  Gaza Food Rations's_unilateral_disengagement_plan

1 comment:

  1. 4/8/13 They've reopened, helping the 800,000 dependents.