Archive for the 'Refugees' Category

The Great March of Return

Issam Edwan

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For the first time since 1948, the year of the Palestinian Nakbah, a massive march is being staged with the participation of huge crowds, as all Palestinian refugees, inside and outside the Palestinian territories, will take part in this event. Therefore, special preparations will be made for this march, as whole Palestinian families, including children, will attend it.

This march, which came 70 years later, is of great significance, and holding it now constitutes an important move in the Palestinian strategy regarding handling the right of return. The Palestinians have waited long for an international recognition of their right of return, but they are fed up with waiting.

Every nation living under occupation has the right to resist and make every effort to stand up and claim its rights. The March of Return, which will be held inside the Palestinian territories and in the world’s capitals, is an important form of resistance and has a great significance not less than the armed resistance, which is the most efficient way of resistance and the shortest way to liberation and achievement of return to our homeland.

The significance of the March of Return lies in the following: Read more »

The Great Return March (GRM) – First statement

PRESS STATEMENT
The Coordinating Committee- The Great Return March (GRM)

In the Name Of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful

“Return is the people’s choice”

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With firm faith in Allah and trust in Him, and with belief in the sacred right of the Palestinian refugees to return, we announce the dawn of return to our homeland; a rally that has just been launched and will develop to weave the strands of return from the hopes of our homeless people, the sacrifices of our prisoners and wounded, and the struggles of our people.

It is a continuation of our long struggle that includes the 2011 March of Return and the 2012 Global March to Jerusalem.

The war of 1948 ended 70 years ago and there is absolutely no justification for the refugees to be prevented from returning to their homes.

International resolutions were adopted, notably Resolution 194 calling for the return of the refugees. Now, the decision is in their hands for they have determined to exercise their inalienable right of return peacefully, at a time of their choice.
The Palestinian refugees have never been far removed from their homes; many live just a few hundred meters away, or simply separated from their original homes by barbed-wire fences. The time to return has come. Read more »

Mixed bag of news and actions this week

Mazin Qumsiyeh

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“We came and turned the native Arabs into tragic refugees. And still we dare to slander and malign them, to besmirch their name. Instead of being deeply ashamed of what we did and trying to undo some of the evil we committed we justify our terrible acts and even attempt to glorify them.” Nathan Chofshi, 9 February 1959

REFLECTIONS: US Vice President Pence finally came to our region after some delays because no one would receive him accept his Zionist paymasters. It took four weeks of pressure for him to get the meetings with the Egyptian dictator Sisi and the Jordanian king Abdullah.

Egypt was easier than Jordan.

Jordan had essentially expelled the Israeli ambassador after an Israeli guard murdered two Jordanians.

The compromise made with Zionist pressure (Zionist Kushner and Zionist Greenblatt) was a half-hearted “regret” from the Israeli government and some compensation money. This after Netanyahu still considers the Israeli murders of Jordanians as a heroic action and there will be no penalty for the murderer (mark my words).

Anyways like many things, the Zionists carry big sticks and Pence finally came to dictate the will of his masters.

Some people attribute his slavishness to his Christian Zionist up-bringing. But like Harry Truman who claimed in public that he supported Zionism (against advise of all people around him) for religious reason and to help the “poor Jews”, in private he articulated exactly why he did this: Zionists had money and power over US media to help him win election.

Same for Pence and Netanyahu (or Obama for that matter).

These politicians have no morals and they work for Rothschild more than for their own public.

My wish is that Arab leaders would learn that standing up to Zionists (and by extension to Washington which is also Zionist occupied territory) is not only possible, but is an existential necessity!!

We should learn from Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela, Lebanon, Yemen, and China the meaning of dignity!

Working on these big existential problems can be done by thinking globally and acting locally, as we are doing here at the Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability at Bethlehem University

Mazin Qumsiyeh
A bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home

UNRWA Commissioner-General to Tell Helsinki Conference: “Don’t Forget Over Half a Million Palestinians from Syria”

Press Statement
UNRWA Spokesperson Chris Gunness

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Helsinki, 24 January 2017: The Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency Pierre Krähenbühl, will tell an international conference later today in Helsinki that “the world should not forget some 560,000 Palestine refugees from whose lives have been impacted by the deepening conflict in Syria”. The conference has been called to launch the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP) in response to the Syria crisis.

Mr Krähenbühl, who will be speaking on a high level panel on education in emergencies and the protection of rights, will update delegates and explain that “today 430,000 Palestine refugees – 95 per cent of those Palestine refugees remaining in Syria – are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance. Overall, 280,000 are internally displaced and around 43,000 are trapped in hard-to-reach or besieged areas. In addition to this, there are more than 30,000 Palestine refugees from Syria who have fled to Lebanon and nearly 17,000 who have fled to Jordan, where they face a marginalised and precarious existence.” Read more »

UNRWA condemns armed violence in Ein El-Hilweh

Press Statement
Christopher Gunness, UNRWA Spokesperson

UNRWA condemns armed violence in Ein El-Hilweh which has again prevented children from attending school and vital health services from operating

Ain Al HIlweh camp, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)

Ain Al HIlweh camp, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)

Jerusalem 22 December 2016: UNRWA strongly condemns the armed violence that took place in the Ein El Hilweh Palestine Refugee camp in Lebanon today and yesterday and calls for restraint.

Due to armed violence and increased risks to civilian lives, UNRWA has suspended all its operations in the camp and will continue to do so until further notice.

Violent incidents in Ein el-Hilweh continue to shock and frighten camp residents. They prevent children going to school and patients going to clinics; and they threaten the safety and security of civilians and their ability to access a range of services. Read more »

UNRWA Condemns Killing of Four Palestine Refugees, calls for Full Humanitarian Access to Khan Eshieh Refugee Camp in Syria

Press Statement
UNRWA Spokesperson Chris Gunness

Khan Eshieh Camp, June 2016 (UN File Photo)

Khan Eshieh Camp, June 2016 (UN File Photo)

Four Palestine refugees were killed on the night of 18 October as they attempted to leave the Khan Eshieh Palestine refugee camp, south of the Syrian capital, Damascus, to which access has been highly restricted. Nofeh Mohammed Jarad, who was in her 60’s, her daughter Ibaa Saeed al-Nader, 22, their driver and a one-year old baby were all killed when their vehicle was shelled around 10 p.m. The mother of the baby, a Syrian citizen, also died in the incident.

UNRWA condemns this attack and the killing and wounding of all civilians including Palestine refugees. It calls on those responsible to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law and demands that the parties to the conflict do their utmost to protect civilian life in accordance with international law. Read more »

UN sustains two weeks of humanitarian access to besieged, hard to reach civilians in Damascus

UNRWA
Press Release

UN concerned about 20,000 civilians in southern Syria, demands access. (Photo: unrwa.org)

UN concerned about 20,000 civilians in southern Syria, demands access. (Photo: unrwa.org)

UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness reported today:

With the completion of humanitarian missions this week, UNRWA has been able to sustain two weeks of humanitarian access to besieged and hard to reach communities in the Syrian capital, Damascus. We were able to resume operations in the Damascus suburb of Yalda on February 14 for the first time in over six months, distributing 5,700 food parcels to families from the besieged Palestine refugee camp of Yarmouk, Yalda, Babila and Beit Saham over a 5-day operation. Then From Sunday 21 to Wednesday 24 February, we distributed thermal blankets to Palestine refugees and other civilians from Yarmouk, Yalda, Babila and Beit Saham, from a distribution point in Yalda. A total of 19,160 blankets were distributed to approximately 5,700 families.

Residents had previously reported that blankets were a critical need due to recurring low temperatures during the winter season. Electricity and water have been cut in Yarmouk for the past three years. Repeated clashes and armed violence over the last years have resulted in extensive damages to civilian houses. Refugees reported that their houses do not have windows, and that they have nothing but plastic bags to replace them with, and protect their families from the cold. Read more »

UNRWA concerned for 20,000+ “inaccessible” Palestinian civilians in southern Syria

PRESS RELEASE
UNRWA

Few getting in or out of Khan Eshieh

Few getting in or out of Khan Eshieh

UNRWA is concerned about the plight of over twenty thousand civilians in Palestine camps and gatherings in Dera’a governorate in the south of Syria as well as in Khan Eshieh camp, south west of Damascus.

The Agency has not had humanitarian access to these areas in over two years, though limited civilian traffic in and out is permitted.

“In both areas, refugees have been exposed to direct armed conflict, violence and humanitarian deprivation and we need immediate and sustained humanitarian access,” said UNRWA spokesperson Christopher Gunness.

“In Khan Eshieh we estimate that there are about 5,000 civilians and in the inaccessible areas of Dera’a governorate we estimate there are about 17,500 people, including many thousands of children,” he added.

UNRWA distributes more aid in Damascus, calls for increased support

Julie Webb-Pullman

UNRWA carries out a third day of food parcel distribution, Yalda, 15 February, 2016 ©unrwa.org

UNRWA carries out a third day of food parcel distribution, Yalda, 15 February, 2016 ©unrwa.org

As armed violence continues to threaten the lives and safety of Palestine refugees throughout Syria, UNRWA is again appealing to donors to increase their support to the UNRWA Syria Emergency Appeal. More than 95% of Palestine refugees in Syria now rely on UNRWA to meet their daily needs of food, water and healthcare.

Although UNRWA was able to distribute food to besieged and hard to reach civilian populations in Damascus yesterday, a Yarmouk resident said, “The children get sick very frequently from the water. We don’t just need food, we need hospitals and water and electricity.”

The community told UNRWA that apart from food, their greatest needs include winter blankets and clothing, access to clean water and access to healthcare. Read more »