[QUOTE][B]Despair, poverty rise in Palestinian area [/B]
MEL FRYKBERGPublished: January 04, 2008
"The situation on the ground has deteriorated in recent months. From my offices in Gaza City I have witnessed first hand the pace and the extent of this decline," said Karen Koning AbuZayd, commissioner-general of UNWRA, which looks after Palestinian Refugees. [B]"In Gaza, the entire population -- 1.5 million persons, including 1 million refugees -- are living under conditions of feudal siege,"[/B] she added, [B]"with borders closed to all but humanitarian goods and major reductions in the flow of electricity and fuel."[/B]
The primary cause for the deteriorating situation is a crippling international embargo, compounded by an Israeli siege on the Gaza strip. The embargo followed the victory of Hamas in democratic legislative elections that were supervised by international observers and monitors including former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, in January 2006.
Following the elections Israel withheld PA customs and VAT revenues, which are major sources of Palestinian public revenue. The situation was compounded by the withdrawal of international aid and resulted in an acute fiscal crisis characterized by the non-payment of public sector wages and the weakening of government.
Prior to 2006 there had been three years of steady growth. But in that year Palestinian GDP fell by between 7 and 10 percent. This compared to a decline of around 4 percent in Lebanon at the same time, when large parts of the country were devastated by the 2006 Israeli-Lebanon war.
Following a Hamas takeover of the Gaza strip last June, Israel tightened its sanctions in a bid to pressure and isolate the Hamas leadership further. This included [B]limiting the amount of food, medical supplies, construction materials, chemicals, machinery parts, and fuel that entered the strip, thereby causing immense suffering to the civilian population.[/B]
Israeli Defense Forces spokesman Col. Nir Press, however, told the Middle East Times, that the closure of several Gaza crossing points and restrictions on imports were due to continual Qassem rocket attacks, but that Israel continued to allow humanitarian aid in.
Although the boycott on the West Bank was lifted simultaneously in June, following the establishment of an emergency government by Hamas' political rival Mahmoud Abbas there, the territory is still trying to overcome the devastating economic effects of the embargo.
[B]In the West Bank, unemployment rates at around 25 percent remain much higher than regional averages. Gaza's unemployment rate stands at nearly 40 percent according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. This in a territory where rates were already among the highest in the world. [/B]
Furthermore, according to a November report from the Palestinian Federation of Industries [B]95 percent of factories in Gaza have closed, leading to over 32,000 job losses.[/B]
The PCBS also reports that [B]Gaza's construction sector has been severely weakened due to restrictions on imports of raw materials. This has negatively impacted UNRWA infrastructure projects valued at $93 million, which have been halted by a lack of supplies.[/B]
Additionally, [B]restricted access to international markets has weakened business, while unemployment has risen partly due to increased restrictions – on the grounds of security -- on Palestinian laborers going to work in Israel.[/B]
And hunger is an ongoing issue.[B] Food security for Gaza's 1.5 million people has also been steadily deteriorating. [/B](Food insecurity, according to the United Nations, describes the circumstance in which people cannot be sure of getting access to adequate supplies of nutritious and safe food.)
A U.N. World Food Program initiative called Emergency Food Needs Assessment showed that [B]51 percent of Palestinians are food insecure in the occupied territory as a whole, with 70 percent food insecure in Gaza. [/B]
[B]The main factors affecting Palestinians' access to food, exacerbated by the second intifada, are Israeli imposed restrictions on their internal and external movement. Limited Palestinian control over their natural resources -- in particular water and agricultural land -- is another major factor.[/B]
Furthermore, [B]chronic malnutrition and dietary-related diseases are slowly increasing[/B], WHO has reported.
[B]Anemia amongst children age nine to 12 months stands at 69 percent in Gaza and 47 percent in the West Bank, with 33 percent of women of childbearing age affected. The number of cases of stunting, low birth weights and premature deaths is also increasing.[/B]
[B]Some 70 percent of Palestinians are estimated by the United Nations Children's Fund to be living below the poverty line. [/B]According to UNRWA and the Palestinian Ministry of Social Affairs, [B]the number of chronic poor has risen sharply. [/B]
This group includes households without an able-bodied male who is capable of working. These households generally have a high proportion of women, children, and the elderly.
It is against this background that UNRWA launched the emergency appeal to establish emergency food assistance, employment opportunities, and cash assistance programs in a bid to alleviate the crisis.
Sad. How does anyone expet these people to make any political changes when living in this destitute
[QUOTE=kennyo7;2489682]Sad. How does anyone expet these people to make any political changes when living in this destitute[/QUOTE]Wait a minute.. You're an American. You're supposed to be calling Palestinians terrorists, not feeling sorry for them. Start watching more television please...
[QUOTE=nationalist88;2489687]Wait a minute.. You're an American. You're supposed to be calling Palestinians terrorists, not feeling sorry for them. Start watching more television please...[/QUOTE]
a disgrace.all that oil money thier fellow arabs/muslims have.wonderful people over there.
[QUOTE=nationalist88;2489687]Wait a minute.. You're an American. You're supposed to be too busy complaining about our involvement in Iraq to even realize there are other issues going on.
Start watching more television please...[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE=2foolish197;2489688]a disgrace.all that oil money thier fellow arabs/muslims have.wonderful people over there.[/QUOTE]
Well, the Israelis are not happy that the "Arabs/Muslims" are doing just that.
Do you think the US and Israel embrace the idea of Iran, Syria, Russia, et al. lending aid and assistance to the Palestinians? NOT! Here's one Israeli press response to what's happening:
[I]Iran, Russia, Syria pledge aid to "Hamastine"
By Israel Insider staff and partners April 17, 2006
Ismail Haniyeh, centre, of the Islamic group Hamas, in a bed of supporters, Friday. (AP)
Iran said Sunday it would give the Palestinian Authority $50 million in aid, moving in for the first time with money after the United States and Europe cut off funding to the Hamas-led government. Russia has also pledged urgent financial assistance and the Syrian government announced it would launch a public fundraising campaign for the cash-strapped PA.
Iran has long had close ties to the Islamic militant movement Hamas and is believed to have given money to the movement in the past - though the Shiite clerical-led government in Tehran has denied that, saying its support has only been moral.
But the new money, if given, would be the first time Iran has provided funds to the Palestinian Authority, the government in the West Bank and Gaza Strip that until now was led by the moderate Fatah movement, which carried out peace negotiations with Israel, a policy shunned by Iran.
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki announced the aid package Sunday during a conference held in Tehran in support of the Palestinians. Tehran had previously promised to help the Palestinians if other international funds were cut off, but Sunday's remarks were the first time Iran has specified an amount.
Mottaki said the pledge was based a long-standing policy to support the Palestinians, Iranian state-television reported.
"Cutting the West's financial aid to Palestine should not affect the will of the Palestinian people," he was quoted as saying.
Iran's hard-liner president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, called for other Islamic nations to give money as he met with Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal.
"Muslim governments and nations, with comprehensive supports, should help the Palestinian government on the way of liberation of Jerusalem," Ahmadinejad said.
Iranian parliament speaker Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel said Tehran would likely increase the aid. "We should not allow the economic sanctions lead to failure of the
Hamas-led government. If Muslim governments support, there will be no need to the U.S. and Europe assists," he said.
The funding could increase Iran's influence with Hamas at a time when Tehran is also under international pressure to change its ways. The United Nations has demanded Iran give up uranium enrichment amid accusations from the United States and Europe that it seeks to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran denies those claims, saying the aim of its nuclear program is to generate electricity.
The United States and the EU have cut off hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian Authority following Hamas' victory in Palestinian legislative elections in January, demanding the group renounce violence and recognize Israel.
Hamas has asked Arab countries to provide funds. But despite promises to give the authority $55 million a month, Arab nations have not given any money since the Hamas election victory. Washington has been pressuring Arab countries not to give money, and some governments are wary of seeing the Hamas government succeed, fearing it will inspire other militant groups.
Up until the Hamas victory, the Palestinian Authority has received about $1 billion in aid from the West. Israel also has halted the monthly transfer of about $55 million in taxes it collects on behalf of the Palestinians.
With its coffers empty, the Palestinian government already is two weeks late in paying March salaries for its 140,000 employees, and it is unclear when it will have the needed funds. The Palestinian Authority is the largest employer in the West Bank and Gaza, sustaining about one-third of the population.
Mashaal reiterated the group's refusal to meet the West's demands, saying Saturday in Tehran that his government would "never recognize Israel."
Russia pledges urgent financial assistance
Russia has pledged urgent financial assistance to the Hamas-led Palestinian government, the Foreign Ministry said.
In a telephone conversation Friday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow was willing to provide immediate aid.
"Abbas expressed great appreciation for Russia's offer, confirmed by Lavrov, to offer urgent financial assistance in the near future to the Palestinian National Authority," said a ministry statement released late Friday.
The Foreign Ministry did not specify the amount of Russian aid being offered, despite EU and U.S. policies of withholding aid to the Hamas-led government.
Lavrov, whose country hosted a visiting Hamas delegation last month, on Tuesday criticized the West's "boycott" of the Palestinian government.
He said engaging the new Hamas leadership was the only way to force it to soften its militant ideology and meet international demands to recognize Israel, give up violence and acknowledge existing Israeli-Palestinian agreements.
The Russian foreign minister warned that the cutoff of international aid to the Palestinian Authority following Hamas' election victory would further destabilize the region.
Lavrov said Tuesday it was possible to adopt a mechanism of aid distribution that would ensure the international funds were spent solely on humanitarian needs.
Russia's hosting the high-level Hamas delegation last month, which broke the international isolation of the militant group, was seen as a bid by Russian President Vladimir Putin to activate Russia's role in the Middle East peace process.
The move provoked anger in Israel and surprise among the other members of the so-called Quartet of Middle East peacemakers. It made no apparent headway in persuading Hamas to soften its stance.
The Syrian government announced it would launch a public fundraising campaign for the cash-strapped PA, the Iranian news agency IRNA reported Sunday.
According to the report, Syrian Vice-President Farouq Shara declared that bank accounts would be opened for people to transfer donations to the Palestinians. Shara was speaking in a joint press conference with former Iranian President Akhar Hashemi Rafsanjani in Tehran.
"I hope that Arab countries will not be swayed by the pretext that these funds would be used for terrorist activities. This aid will serve to avoid a real catastrophe in Palestine," Shara was quoted as saying, Haaretz reported.
[QUOTE=2foolish197;2489688]a disgrace.all that oil money thier fellow arabs/muslims have.wonderful people over there.[/QUOTE]
Your kidding ...right? The ME Oil is owned by like 1% of the population. Even in oil rich ME countries, the majority of the population lives in poverty. This has nothing to do with religion/ethnicity. Its all about the lack of a middle class which stems from the fact these nations never underwent the industrial revolution.
Have sympathy for Hamas & Palestinians? Please, get real.
Not only was there no Palestinian people prior to 1948, but... You live by the sword, you die by it. Choose a Terrorist organization to represent you? Get what you pay for.:yes:
Supporting Hamas would be like US supporting the 911 flight crew from
"pick your slang" land, you don't do business with terrorists! :yes: You kick their ass into oblivion, right GW? :eek: Well maybe not, but you definitely don't agree with them to continue it. Israel is in the middle of a Quagmire of "people's" that want them dead.
If Hamas could complete any of the goals they agreed to, it would make it a lot more easy to listen to this tripe, but not till then.. These are terrorists, killing children, mothers, woman, in Pizza restaurants, in schools, in Temples, on busses to schools or from. They are not looking for any real negotiations with anyone. They want to kill all infadels as they say. Their own words, do your research.
Hamas's only goal is to kill Jews, period. Iran's goal, to kill Jews, the Jewish state came in 1948 and Palestinians were invented. Jews had Israel 5000 years ago and were kicked out in AD, so let's stop the BS about these great people who have murdered, bombed, assassinated, anyone that is Jewish or attached to them, AMERICANS are Attached, whether you like it or not. and should be as it's only 1 of a few nations that actually still has our back, screwing with that, would be like another George W F--- up. We, Americans, can't afford to lose another ally and we better protect the ones that are like us, or we will be over too. :yes:
Hamas should have a voice as soon as they play by the rules that they stated they will agree to over and over and over and over and over and over again, which they have yet to do in 10 all the years, since they were given the green light by Arafat. Play by real rules without harming innocent, then yes, true talks should happen, but they should definitely include Egypt, Syria (good luck), Iran (good luck), etc.. as they could easily donate money, sand, etc.. and Palestinians, can then try to make their own fertile soil out of sand, which up until now only Israeli people were capable of doing. Hamas are killers, not negotiators, remember that, there is no negotiating with Bin Laden, nor Hamas, they are the same murdering -------- fill in the blank. That's reality. :yes:
[QUOTE=kennyo7;2489977]Your kidding ...right? The ME Oil is owned by like 1% of the population. Even in oil rich ME countries, the majority of the population lives in poverty. This has nothing to do with religion/ethnicity. Its all about the lack of a middle class which stems from the fact these nations never underwent the industrial revolution.[/QUOTE]
So that 1% should start a foundation like our "1%", Bill Gates. Call them out, Kenny.
Let these "destitues" go to Jordan, in 1948 they these so-called Palatinians were given Jordan. There were two states created by the UN in 1948 one was Jordan for the Arab's (whom have 22 countries) and the other is Israel.
I have to disagree with you on this one. How do you expect anything to get better over there when stuff like that is happening. It kind of reminds me of what happened in Ireland with the English. All this does is breed more hate and violence, sorry but Israel is wrong and it makes it harder for the US and it other allies.
[quote=New York Mick;2490605]I have to disagree with you on this one. How do you expect anything to get better over there when stuff like that is happening. It kind of reminds me of what happened in Ireland with the English. All this does is breed more hate and violence, [B]sorry but Israel is wrong[/B] and it makes it harder for the US and it other allies.[/quote]
Sounds very insightful and knowledgable. You bring many facts to the table
[QUOTE=Boynton Beach Jets;2490451]Let these "destitues" go to Jordan, in 1948 they these so-called Palatinians were given Jordan. There were two states created by the UN in 1948 one was Jordan for the Arab's (whom have 22 countries) and the other is Israel.[/QUOTE]
Lebanon, Syria and other Arab nations [B]have[/B] taken alot of Palestinian refugees.