UNRWA: 80% of Gazans depend on humanitarian assistance

gaza armoede

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — UNRWA distributed thousands of meals to Palestinian refugees in the besieged Gaza Strip during the holy month of Ramadan, the agency said in a statement on Tuesday, adding that 80 percent of the population in Gaza are dependent on humanitarian assistance.Following the financial assistance given by Emirates-based Khalid Bin al-Nahyan Foundation, UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for providing aid to Palestinian refugees, was able to distribute 9,809 hot meals for 26,557 Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, the statement said.Vulnerable Palestinian refugees, defined by the agency as those making less that $1.47 a day and without access to meals during Ramadan, were provided coupons that allowed them to access their meals from 20 community-based organizations operating throughout the small enclave.The food program was implemented under an UNRWA program called “Feeding the Fasting” aimed at easing food security in the small Palestinian territory during the month of Ramadan.The statement also highlighted the crippling economic effects of Israel’s near decade-long siege, which has plummeted the unemployment rate to a startling 41.2 percent in the beginning of 2016, according the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.Approximately 80 percent of the population in Gaza are dependent on international humanitarian assistance, UNRWA reported.“While in the year 2000, UNRWA provided approximately 80,000 refugees in Gaza with food assistance, this number has increased to more than 930,000 today – almost 70 per cent of the refugee population and over 50 per cent of the total population,” the statement added. The majority of the more than 1.8 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are sealed inside the coastal enclave due to the continuation of a military blockade imposed by Israel and upheld by Egypt on the southern border.The UN has warned that the Gaza Strip would become uninhabitable for residents by 2020, pointing to the devastation of war and the crippling effects of Israel’s blockade.

(Source / 05.07.2016)

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Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police




The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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