NIGHTMARE at Rafah Crossing
- 28 Palestinians die at Rafah Crossing
Date: 07 / 07 / 2007
Palestinians waiting at Rafah (MaanImages)
Gaza Ma'an Director of the ambulance and emergency
department in the Palestinian ministry of health, Dr
Mu'awiya Hassanein, on Saturday announced the deaths
of 28 Palestinians who had been trapped at Rafah
Crossing, between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, since the
1st of June.
Dr Hassanein said that the Palestinian health ministry
was able to deliver the corpses to the Gaza Strip,
through the Kerem Shalom Crossing, with the
coordination of the Egyptian ambulance services.
All of the deceased were Palestinians who had
travelled to Egypt for medical treatment. They died
due to the lack of medical care provided to some 4,000
Palestinians waiting at the crossing to return to the
The corpses were held in morgues in Egypt, before
arrangements were made to return them to Gaza.
Hassanein said that the continued closure of the
crossing is extremely dangerous, especially as 20% of
waiting Palestinians are suffering from chronic health
Among the dead were women, children and the elderly.
There are also heavily-pregnant women waiting at the
Hassanein expressed his appreciation of the Egyptian
ambulance services that aided the passage of the
corpses and offered humanitarian services.
The families of the trapped Palestinians are powerless
to help; they have held demonstrations and rallies
calling for the reopening of the crossings. The
stranded citizens have also sent appeals from their
mobile phones to TV stations.
Hamas held a rally on Saturday, demanding the
reopening of Rafah Crossing.
A Palestinian girl, Amal Habib, told Ma'an that she
has seventeen family members trapped at Rafah
Abbas's popularity at its lowest ebb
Palestinian Information Center (PIC)
July 4, 2007
RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- An opinion poll conducted by the website of the
Palestinian Al-Quds newspaper has shown that PA chief Mahmoud Abbas's
popularity was at its lowest ebb with only 13.47% voting for him as
president if elections were held now.
The poll further said that if an honest election process was held
Ismail Haneyya, premier of the caretaker government, would win 51.47%
of the votes, which is 38% more than Abbas.
The poll further indicated that Marwan Al-Barghouthi, a detained Fatah
leader in Israeli jails, would only get 12.16% of the votes while Dr.
Mustafah Al-Barghouthi, leader of the National Initiative party, would
only get 5.93% of the total votes.
It further showed that Salam Fayyad, the premier of the so-called
emergency government, would win the least of votes with 4.93%.
The paper is closely associated with the Fatah faction and the PA
Palestinian refugees from Iraq heading to Brazil
AMMAN , 4 July 2007 (IRIN) - After spending over four years
languishing in a refugee camp in the Jordanian desert, 100 Palestinian
refugees from Iraq will finally be heading to their new home - Brazil.
A statement by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), said the group, which
includes children and the elderly, will start moving from Rweished
refugee camp, 60km from the Jordanian-Iraqi border, to Brazil by
"The UNHCR is grateful to. the government of Brazil for resettling an
estimated 100 Palestinian refugees who formerly lived in Iraq," said
the statement made available to IRIN.
The refugees will be sent to their new country in three batches, with
priority given to the elderly and families with children.
According to the plan, an estimated 22 families will be settled in Sao
Paulo state, while 18 families will go to Rio Grande do Sul, in the
southeast and southern regions of Brazil, said the statement.
Unaccompanied elderly refugees will be settled in a home for the
elderly where medical treatment is to be provided.
Assistance for 24 months
All will receive rented accommodation, furniture and material
assistance for up to 24 months. Employment profiles are being analysed
to ensure job opportunities for all, while a network of volunteers and
local communities is being established to provide moral support during
Children will attend classes in Portuguese, before being enrolled in
Brazilian schools in March 2008.
The group is currently receiving training by a team of humanitarian
professionals from Brazil on Brazilian culture and is being given
Rweished refugee camp
The Jordanian government set up the camp in 2003 in the middle of the
desert with the help of international humanitarian groups to
accommodate an expected influx of refugees in light of the war on Iraq.
The camp housed more than 2,000 people during the first days of war,
before the Jordanian authorities decided to stop receiving more asylum
seekers for fear of attracting millions of refugees from the war-torn
Over the past four years, most of the refugees - from Sudan, Iran,
Kurdistan, Iraq and Palestine - were resettled in third countries
including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Scandinavian countries and
Residents of the Rweished camp have been complaining of arduous living
conditions due to the extreme weather, with blinding sandstorms in
summer and bone-penetrating cold in winter.
"[Camp residents] have faced extremely harsh conditions in a dusty and
scorpion-infested desert camp with nowhere to go," said the statement.
The Palestinians are the first group of refugees from outside Latin
America to benefit from the "solidarity resettlement programmes" which
were proposed in the 2004 Mexico Plan of Action, the statement said.
The plan, which was adopted by 20 Latin American countries, has so far
only benefited refugees from the region - mainly Colombians. Brazil's
offer will provide a humanitarian solution for Palestinians who have
been in the Jordanian camp since 2003.
The UNHCR office in Brazil will also help the new arrivals better
integrate into the Brazilian community by hiring bilingual
(Arabic-Portuguese) staff who will be trained in Palestinian
traditions and culture.
With the departure of the Palestinian refugees, only a handful of
Iraqi families will be left facing an uncertain future.
Jordan, already hosting 1.2 million Palestinian refugees and nearly
700,000 Iraqis, repeatedly has threatened to shut down the camp and
transfer the residents to the border. Officials from the UNHCR,
however, were able to persuade Jordanian officials to keep the camp
open until a permanent solution was found for the group.
The weekly digest of events and developments in the Palestinian theatre
- Arab leaders press for movement towards a `final peace plan', but
Olmert offers only stepby-step approach, citing concerns about Abbas'
ability to deliver - Mubarak appeals for Hamas-Fatah reconciliation ¡
US asks Israel to draw up a `final peace plan'together with Abbas.¡
US increases military aid to Israel from $2.4b p.a.to $2.9b p.a. over
ten years, expedites replenishments following 2006 Lebanon war.¡ US
withdraws UNSC initiative supporting PA emergency government due to
from Russia, South Africa, Indonesia and Qatar
¡ UN Human Rights Council makes Israel's actions a permanent agenda
item ¡ US says ex-UK PM Blair will be new Quartet Middle East Envoy,
but discussions over his mandate delay official announcement. Abbas
supports, Hamas rejects, Arab states noncommittal, to appointment. ¡
UK's biggest public sector unions vote to `boycott Israel'.
¡ PCHR report on IDF abuses for w/e 30 May - 14 (including 5
children) killed - 1 extra-judicial execution
- 31 (11 children, 2 women, 1 American journalist) wounded by gunfire
- 32 raids (mostly at night) into WB, 2 into Gaza - Further
destruction and appropriation of Palestinian property for `security'
and settlement activity in WB. ¡ IDF attacks peaceful anti-Wall
demonstrations with tear gas, rubber bullets, stun grenades, beatings
¡ In excess of 30ha and 2400 trees burned and destroyed by IDF and
settlers in WB.¡ Alan Johnston, held 107 days by militants in Gaza,
appeared on video wearing a bomb-belt, to discourage attempts to
release him by force
¡ Average of 18 trucks per day, of approx. 350 required,entering
Gaza, carrying only emergency humanitarian relief. Some cargo diverted
to WB, most sitting (often rotting) in warehouses. Essentials (eg.
wheat) in increasingly short supply. ¡ UNRWA has only $110m of $246m
budgeted for 2007.¡ Increasingly untreated sewerage lake in Gaza to
overflow in 3 weeks, flooding homes of 10,000. Treatment equipment and
chemicals held back by IDF.IDF tanks on site prevent access for
engineers. ¡ 5000 Palestinians stranded on Egyptian side of
Egypt-Gaza border Issue 07/23
"After 40 years of Israeli occupation, percentage of those who believe
that the chances for the creation of an independent Palestinian state
are medium or high does not exceed 26% while 70% believe the chances
are non existent or low. Anger and lack of confidence prevails in the
Palestinian Street." Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey
Research, Palestinian Public Opinion Poll No. (24)---------
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