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NIGHTMARE at Rafah Crossing

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    28 Palestinians die at Rafah Crossing Date: 07 / 07 / 2007 Palestinians waiting at Rafah (MaanImages) Gaza – Ma an – Director of the ambulance and
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 8, 2007
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      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
      their integration.

      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
      Portuguese lessons.

      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
      the USA.

      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.

      Humanitarian solution

      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
      strong objections

      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
      and arrests.

      ¡ 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

      Humanitarian situation

      ¡ 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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