Aletho News


80,000 Palestinians in Jerusalem without water for three days

MEMO | March 8, 2014

The Israeli water company Jihon said on Friday that 80,000 Palestinians in East Jerusalem have been without water for more than three days.

In a statement Jihon said: “About 80,000 Palestinians in four Arab neighbourhoods in Jerusalem and its outskirts have been suffering from complete loss of water for three days.”

The Israeli company said that it would like to supply water for all consumers in Jerusalem, including Jewish and Arab citizens, but the water infrastructure in the Arab areas is decaying. It also said that the increasing number of inhabitants contributes to the problem.

Meanwhile, the Arab inhabitants at the Palestinian refugee camps of Su’fat, RasKhamis and Ras Shihadeh, as well as Al-Salam Suburb, said they have been suffering from a complete water shortage for several days.

The residents said in a statement issued on Saturday that tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees and citizens in the three residential gatherings in Jerusalem have been without water since the beginning of last week.

According to the statement the Palestinians said that they did not know the reason why the water supply stopped.

The statement also blamed the company Jihon, which is the only body that has a permit to supply water to Jerusalem, for the water shortages. “It started reducing water portions two weeks ago,” the statement said. “And in the end it completely stopped the water.”

Deputy head of the Popular Committee in Su’fat Refugee Camp, Khalid al-Khaldi said: “There are about 23,000 Palestinian refugees and citizens in the camp and they have not had water for three days. In Ras Shihadeh, there has been no water for 20 days.”

He reiterated that there has been no water in Ras Khamis and Al-Salam Suburb for a long time either.

Al-Khaldi blamed the UNRWA, which is responsible for the Palestinian refugees, for the water problem. He called for it to immediately move to solve the problem.

March 8, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 2 Comments

UNRWA’s human rights curriculum suffocates Palestinian resistance

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | February 27, 2014

The curriculum taught to students in schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has been criticised by Hamas through a statement issued by the Education Ministry, which declared the human rights textbooks provided by UNRWA to be detached from Palestinian reality.

The statement denounced the syllabus distribution prior to proper consultation with the ministry and deemed the dissemination of human rights enshrined within the curriculum an exercise in “brainwashing Palestinian students and convincing them to accept the Zionist enemies”.

Apart from providing narratives which have been assimilated into Western mainstream discourse about human rights, Palestinian historical memory was also obscured by providing an alternative history of the Nakba which absolves Israel of the atrocities committed to establish the settler-colonial state, as well as depicting peaceful resistance “as the only way of achieving freedom and independence”.

According to the Times of Israel, UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness insisted that “UNRWA’s education system takes, as its basis, the curriculum taught by the PA. We have done our utmost in developing these materials to be sensitive to local values while also being true to the values that underpin the work of the United Nations.”

However, the issue is of greater complexity than the obvious disagreement about the legitimacy of armed struggle endorsed by Hamas and the peaceful resistance which UN-affiliated entities continue to uphold as sustainable.

It is important to evaluate the alleged universal values of human rights, the probable complicity between UNRWA and the PA as entities affiliated to the imperialist narrative and the inherent selective application with regard to human rights within the imperialist concept of what constitutes humanity.

The “universal” declaration of human rights is a fabricated substitute for freedom providing a backdrop for the constant and premeditated violations. Within this framework there exists oppression and selective application of human rights, decided by the imperialist collective that is also responsible for restraining the legitimacy of the armed struggle in return for a set of competently quoted and intentionally compromised rules.

By relying upon vague terms such as universal qualities and the concept of human rights, the UN is ensuring the depletion of history and memory as a means of preventing nations from asserting their liberation, thus consolidating the subjugation upon which imperialism is dependent.

Extending the imperialist interpretation of human rights to Palestinians remains a conspiracy through which to sabotage armed resistance and the insistence upon the dismantling of the Zionist state, which Hamas has repeatedly insisted upon.

The manipulation of Palestinian history by UNRWA in agreement with the PA, which has repeatedly exhibited its allegiances with oppressive institutions and the settler-colonial state, is an exercise in erasing memories to increase agreement with the dominant narrative.

While resistance is a natural phenomenon against oppression, discourse pertaining to human rights is just a convenient intervention to stifle the reclamation of freedom, perfectly compatible with the alleged values imparted by the UN.

Implementing the compromised education curriculum would limit the possibility of an organised and legitimate armed struggle against the settler-colonial state, as well as indoctrinate Palestinian students against their rights to assert their own historical legitimacy

February 27, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | Comments Off on UNRWA’s human rights curriculum suffocates Palestinian resistance

UN adopts new resolutions on Palestine

MEMO | November 15, 2013

The Special Political and Decolonisation Committee (Fourth Committee) of the General Assembly of the United Nations has adopted eight new resolutions concerning the plight of the Palestinians. The drafts were taken on board with large majorities voting in favour.

The resolutions covered the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and an intention for the committee to investigate “Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the Occupied Territory”.

Predictably, Israel voted against all of the resolutions, being joined variously by Cameroon, the United States, Canada, Australia and Panama. Equally predictable abstentions included Micronesia, Palau, Vanuatu and South Sudan.

The resolutions relating to UNRWA were backed consistently by more than 160 UN members states, whereas those committing the UN to look at the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory saw fewer in favour, just under 90 countries, with far more abstentions (70 or more).

The resolutions reflected the extremely difficult living, economic, social and humanitarian conditions faced by Palestinian refugees in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in the Gaza Strip, as a result of the continued Israeli military aggression and siege. They emphasised the vital and important role of UNRWA and the tireless efforts of its staff in implementing its mandate until a just solution to the Palestinian refugee issue is achieved.

After the votes, Ambassador Riyad Mansour, the Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, expressed the appreciation and gratitude of the state to all the countries that voted in favour of the new resolutions. He thanked them in particular for their support for UNRWA, which should ensure that it can continue with its mandate to help Palestinian refugees. He noted that the General Assembly was reaffirming the Palestinians’ right to self-determination and the refugees’ right to return to their land.

The nations of the world called on Israel to comply with its obligations under international law, the 2004 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice concerning the apartheid wall and all UN resolutions. The application of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, was also reaffirmed.

Ambassador Mansour said that the international community must make a serious collective effort to put an end to the violations committed by Israel and ensure that it complies fully with all legal obligations in order that a just settlement is reached for the Palestinian issue.

November 16, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Reduction in UNRWA Services in Gaza: Calls for End of Siege

By Sarah Snobar | IMEMC & agencies | June 6, 2012

The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in the Gaza Strip announced that there will be a reduction in its services in Gaza due to a decline in funding from donor countries.

Robert Turner, the new head of UNRWA in Gaza, said that they have decided to cut down on the program for employment by 70%. He also said that the program for distributing food is threatened by the lack of funds.

Turner added that the budget for UNRWA is suffering from a $70 million deficit where the program for food distribution, as part of the emergency program in Gaza, will create a deficit of $5 million in July, followed by an estimated $15 million during the next round of distribution.

Turner pointed out that the donors demanded that UNRWA end the emergency program until 2013 but UNRWA refused due to the deterioration of the situation in Gaza and the continuation of the siege.

Turner called for the end of the siege that has created an overall disaster and added that ending the emergency program and training the refugees demands the end of siege. Freeing the market would also be necessary for the refugees to be capable of depending on themselves. Turner said his main aim is to constantly remind the world of the siege and that the situation in Gaza has to change.

Turner continued to say that there will be no real solution or stability in the area until the siege ends.

June 6, 2012 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , | Comments Off on Reduction in UNRWA Services in Gaza: Calls for End of Siege

Steve Rosen: “Someday all life on Earth will be a Palestinian refugee”

By Maidhc Ó Cathail | The Passionate Attachment | May 26, 2012

In his May 25 blog post for Foreign Policy’s The Cable, Josh Rogin provocatively asks, “Did the State Department just create 5 million Palestinian refugees?”

Rogin is referring to a letter Deputy Secretary of State Tom Nides recently wrote to Senator Patrick Leahy expressing State’s strong opposition to an amendment introduced by AIPAC darling Senator Mark Kirk that, in the words of Rogin, “would have required more in-depth reporting on how many UNRWA aid recipients are now living in the West Bank, Gaza, and other countries such as Jordan.” In the letter, Nides notes matter of factly that “UNRWA provides essential services for approximately five million refugees.” However, according to Rogin, “To experts and congressional officials following the issue, that declaration was remarkable because it was the first time the State Department had placed a number — 5 million — on the number of Palestinian refugees.” As Rogin explains:

At the heart of the issue is what constitutes a “refugee.” The entire thrust of the Kirk amendment was to challenge UNRWA’s definition, which includes the descendants of refugees — children, grandchildren, and so on. That has resulted in the number of Palestinian “refugees” skyrocketing from 750,000 in 1950 to the 5 million figure quoted by Nides today.

Revealingly, one of the “experts” Rogin cites as finding State’s 5 million figure “remarkable” is Steve Rosen. Neglecting to mention that Rosen was indicted on espionage charges in 2005, Rogin merely describes him as “a long time senior AIPAC official who now is the Washington director of the Middle East Forum,” and provides him with a platform for the following provocative and offensive statement:

“How many generations does it go?” asked Rosen. “I’m Jewish, and as a grandchild of several refugees, could I make a claim on all these countries? Where does it end? Someday all life on Earth will be a Palestinian refugee.”

May 26, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Comments Off on Steve Rosen: “Someday all life on Earth will be a Palestinian refugee”