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UN Agencies in occupied Palestinian territory "extremely alarmed" by security situation in Gaza

We the United Nations Agencies working in the occupied Palestinian territory are extremely alarmed by the deteriorating security situation in Gaza. The upsurge of violence, which has taken the lives of innocent civilians, is also putting our workers on the ground at serious risk. It is becoming extremely difficult for us to fulfill our humanitarian mandates to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people. The implications of this for a population already facing extreme hardship are grave. We remain determined to continue with our humanitarian work. 

Gaza fighting threatening aid, says UN

Six United Nations agencies have warned that bloody street battles between rival Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip are blocking the delivery of vital humanitarian aid to a vulnerable population. Fierce fighting between Hamas, the party of government, and Fatah, the party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, forced the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which looks after Palestinian refugees, to shut schools for some 35,000 children on Saturday and suspend food delivery from its Gaza city warehouse. UNRWA provides food to 1.1 million of the 1.4 million people who live in the Strip. 

Israeli lock-down cripples Nablus economy

Israeli moves to control movement in and out of the city of Nablus are thwarting humanitarian aid efforts and damaging the local economy, according to aid agencies and local residents. Israeli checkpoints surrounding the city of more than 200,000 people mean that no vehicle can leave or enter Nablus without an Israeli permit. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that such permits are difficult to obtain, particularly for Palestinians. Liz Sime, from the US-based global humanitarian organisation CARE International, said that, “[our] teams lose up to two hours each time they try to exit Nablus, raising costs at an unreasonable rate”. 

Adalah: Arab villages granted "border town" status

On 31 January 2007, the Ministry of Finance announced its agreement to include four Arab villages in the north of Israel in the list of ‘border towns’ for the purposes of compensation for indirect damages incurred during the Second Lebanon War. The Ministry submitted this agreement in response to a petition filed by Adalah demanding that it grant these four villages ‘border town’ status. It is Adalah’s position that this change of status should have been made many years ago, and that there was no justification for the prior discrimination against the Arab towns. Unfortunately, the filing of the petition was what led to this change. 

Interview with Israeli activist Yeela Raanan

Bedouin villages have been on the land since before the State of Israel was conceived. The Israeli government doesn’t recognise them and calls them illegal, and therefore they are not entitled to any infrastructure or services. The “illegal” villages lack even basic amenities such as running water and electricity. According to Yeela Raanan of the Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages (RCUV), the elders have held receipts since the 1970s of payments made to Israel for plots of land in the town of Laquia. They lived on other people’s land in shacks and tents on the outskirts of the town, waiting for the land — which never came — to build homes for their families. 

War Enters the Classrooms

GAZA CITY, Feb 5 (IPS) - The United Nations has indefinitely suspended elementary school classes for tens of thousands of Gaza City’s children following a weekend of unprecedented factional violence, which turned this isolated enclave into a war zone and left at least 27 dead and 250 wounded. John Ging, director of operations for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said, “we try to balance the risk of violence to kids and parents on the one hand, and the need for these kids to get an education on the other. 

Along the Lines of the Bloodiest Israeli Incursions

PCHR strongly condemns the bloody events over the past three days, the worst of their kind. These tragic events left 29 dead, including 7 civilians (incl. 3 women and 3 children), and more than 200 injured, half of them innocent civilians. The Centre welcomes reaching another ceasefire between Hamas and Fatah under Egyptian sponsorship Saturday evening. However, there is concern over the continued state of tension, military deployment, sporadic gunfire, and roadblocks in Gaza City. Since the afternoon of Thursday, 1 February 2007, armed clashes resumed between Fatah and Hamas militias and security forces split in allegiance to both parties. 

Israeli Forces Kill Six West Bank Palestinians in Two Days

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have escalated their war crimes in the West Bank over the past two days, killing six Palestinians in four separate crimes. Two were killed resisting an IOF incursion into Nablus. A third was killed in an extra-judicial execution in Tulkarm. A child was killed due to excessive use of force in Qalandia refugee camp, north of Jerusalem. And two Preventive Security operatives were killed in Beitunia, west of Ramallah. In addition, two children and an Islamic Jihad activist were injured in these crimes. 

Ilan Pappe lectures and presents his latest book in Amsterdam

On January 26, Israeli historian Ilan Pappe gave a lecture at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Pappe was in the Netherlands on invitation of United Civilians for Peace and Another Jewish Voice. On January 27 he presented his latest book “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” in ABC Treehouse Gallery and On January 28, he lectured at Desmet in Amsterdam. Pappe’s book shows that in 1948, the Zionist movement waged a war against the Palestinian people in order to implement its long term plans of ethnic cleansing. 

Canada: Fight the Deportation of Palestinian Refugees

As we enter 2007, the Coalition Against the Deportation of Palestinian Refugees marks its fourth year of fighting against the deportation of Palestinian refugees from Canada. We have, since early 2003, been publicly organizing to reverse the efforts of Immigration Canada to deport Palestinian refugees and for them instead to be granted permanent residency in Canada. The year 2006 provided numerous examples of the arbitrariness and injustice with which Immigration Canada has treated the cases of the stateless Palestinian refugees in Canada. While two members of the Coalition received positive decisions on their applications for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, others were unjustly refused, and still more have been left in wait for years.