Website policy


We provide links to articles we think will be of interest to our supporters. We are sympathetic to much of the content of what we post, but not to everything. The fact that something has been linked to here does not necessarily mean that we endorse the views expressed in it.
_____________________

BSST

BSST is the leading charity focusing on small-scale grass roots cross community, anti poverty and humanitarian projects in Israel/Palestine
____________________

JfJfP comments


2016:

06 May: Tair Kaminer starts her fifth spell in gaol. Send messages of support via Reuven Kaminer

04 May: Against the resort to denigration of Israel’s critics

2015:

23 Dec: JfJfP policy statement on BDS

14 Nov: Letter to the Guardian about the Board of Deputies

11 Nov: UK ban on visiting Palestinian mental health workers

20 Oct: letter in the Guardian

13 Sep: Rosh Hashanah greetings

21 Aug: JfJfP on Jeremy Corbyn

29 July: Letter to Evening Standard about its shoddy reporting

24 April: Letter to FIFA about Israeli football

15 April: Letter re Ed Miliband and Israel

11 Jan: Letter to the Guardian in response to Jonathan Freedland on Charlie Hebdo

2014:

15 Dec: Chanukah: Celebrating the miracle of holy oil not military power

1 Dec: Executive statement on bill to make Israel the nation state of the Jewish people

25 Nov: Submission to All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism

7 Sept: JfJfP Executive statement on Antisemitism

3 Aug: Urgent disclaimer

19 June Statement on the three kidnapped teenagers

25 April: Exec statement on Yarmouk

28 Mar: EJJP letter in support of Dutch pension fund PGGM's decision to divest from Israeli banks

24 Jan: Support for Riba resolution

16 Jan: EJJP lobbies EU in support of the EU Commission Guidelines, Aug 2013–Jan 2014

2013:

29 November: JfJfP, with many others, signs a "UK must protest at Bedouin expulsion" letter

November: Press release, letter to the Times and advert in the Independent on the Prawer Plan

September: Briefing note and leaflet on the Prawer Plan

September: JfJfP/EJJP on the EU guidelines with regard to Israel

14th June: JfJfP joins other organisations in protest to BBC

2nd June: A light unto nations? - a leaflet for distribution at the "Closer to Israel" rally in London

24 Jan: Letter re the 1923 San Remo convention

18 Jan: In Support of Bab al-Shams

17 Jan: Letter to Camden New Journal about Veolia

11 Jan: JfJfP supports public letter to President Obama

Comments in 2012 and 2011

_____________________

Posts

Revenge of US Congress threatens to deepen Palestinian poverty

Palestinians Bracing for Statehood Bid Fallout
Irin News /Palestine Chronicle
04.10.11

As reports come in that the USA may be preparing to cut a substantial portion of the aid it gives to the Palestinian Authority (PA) if the Palestinian statehood bid is successful, people in the occupied Palestinian territory are bracing for possible consequences.

Still branded a “terrorist” organization by the Quartet (European Union, UN, US and Russia), the Hamas-led government in the Gaza Strip is developing programmes to assist the poorest families as the threat of sanctions by Israel and/or the USA looms.

“We are seeking alternative aid to Gaza from Arab nations,” said Omar Al-Derbi, assistant deputy social affairs minister in Gaza. A new programme under the ministry to begin in October pairs Gaza families in need directly with families from Gulf countries. Ten thousand Gaza beneficiaries will receive 1,000 shekels (US$267) every three months for the coming year. Beneficiaries, interviewed by over 200 social workers in Gaza, include widows and the unemployed.

Shahrazad AbuThuria, 41, from Gaza City, and her six children live in a two-room garage without insulation. Her husband left her 16 years ago, and she is now unemployed. As a refugee Shahrazad receives food assistance from the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) every three months, but it is not enough to feed her family, she says.

She applied to the Gaza social affairs ministry for assistance a year ago, and says a social worker visits periodically, but her case is still under review.

“My daughter, Nida, 15, had to stop attending school, since I can’t afford uniforms,” she said. “It will for sure get worse. The siege will tighten and donor funds will decrease.”

The USA has been giving about US$200 million annually for PA budget support and roughly $350 million to support humanitarian and development projects – mainly channelled through the US State Department, the US Agency for International Development and NGOs – and not through the PA, said Ghassan Al-Khatib, spokesperson for the PA in Ramallah.

One in four Palestinians lives below the “poverty line” (defined as $609 per month for a household of two adults and three children), according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), including 18 percent of Palestinians living in the West Bank and 38 percent living in the Gaza Strip. PCSB also found that 14 percent of Palestinians were living in “deep poverty” ($478 per month for a household of two adults and three children), with 8 percent in the West Bank and 23 percent in Gaza.

These are the people most likely to be affected by possible sanctions.

“[Palestinian president Mahmoud] Abbas’s move to the UN may make our situation worse, the siege may tighten,” said Majda Bedawi, a 36-year-old refugee from Beach Camp in Gaza. She has nine children and her husband has been unemployed for five years.

Abbas’s move to the UN may make our situation worse, the siege may tighten
“We are borrowing from relatives to pay for groceries,” she added. Her family applied for social assistance last week.

EU, World Bank Assistance
At present, the plight of many of the poorest families is being eased thanks to interventions by the European Union (EU), the World Bank, and the PA.

In terms of direct financial support to the recurrent costs of the PA, the EU disbursed $213 million from January to September 2011, including $174 million for salaries/pensions and $39 million for social support. In 2010, about $345 million was disbursed to the Palestinians by the EU.

Some 87,000 Palestinian families – 47,000 in the West Bank and 40,000 in Gaza – are receiving social assistance in 2011 from a “national cash transfer programme” administered by the EU, World Bank, and the PA social affairs ministry in the West Bank, says the PA – an increase on previous years.

About 55,000 families receive EU assistance, 5,000 receive assistance from the Bank, and 27,000 from the PA (this latter group has increased in the past year).

The full integration of Gaza beneficiaries under the programme is expected by the end of 2011. As of June 2011, payments to beneficiaries in the West Bank have been transferred into individual bank accounts. For Gaza beneficiaries, benefits will continue to be paid over-the-counter until the transition to the national programme is effective. This year’s third quarterly payment was made on 3 October.

Gaza-PA Rift
Lack of communication between the PA social affairs ministry and its counterpart in Gaza is affecting the ability of impoverished families in Gaza to enter the system – although, there is greater cooperation between the two ministries than in other sectors like health care. The EU and the Bank only deal with the PA on an official level, and limit contact with the Gaza government to coordination on logistics.

The USA has been giving about US$200 million annually for PA budget support and roughly $350 million to support humanitarian and development projects – mainly channelled through the US State Department, the US Agency for International Development and NGOs – and not through the PA, said Ghassan Al-Khatib, spokesperson for the PA in Ramallah.

According to a Reuters report, the Obama administration is asking Congress to unblock its freeze on budget support assistance, imposed by the lawmakers as punishment for the PA’s bid for UN recognition of statehood.

Meanwhile, Gaza officials have been complaining about the lack of assistance from the PA. “The PA is not transferring sufficient funds as a result of the internal political conflict,” said Al-Derbi. “The ministry requested 18,000 additional families in Gaza receive assistance,” he added.

Gaza was not consulted on the statehood proposal to the UN.

(IRIN News)

Print Friendly

Comments are closed.