UN & UNRWA should demand end to refugee camps in Gaza & West Bank

This humanitarian catastrophe being perpetuated by the PLO and Hamas on their very own folks should be ended.


The tragic dying of Palestinian Arab-USA journalist – Shireen Abu Akleh – caught in crossfire between Israeli safety forces and armed Palestinian Arabs in Jenin—ought to function a clarion name to the United Nations (UN) and the United Nations Reduction and Works Company (UNRWA) to demand:

  • the closure of the 27 UNRWA-funded Palestinian Arab refugee camps within the West Bank and Gaza Strip – at present housing about 800,000 Palestinian Arabs and 
  • their resettlement in cities and villages all through Gaza and areas A and B of the West Bank amongst their very own Palestinian Arab brethren.

No Palestinian Arab ought to have ever been categorized as a refugee after having moved from one half to a different a part of former Palestine – whether or not voluntarily or not. UNRWA stands condemned for permitting this fictitious refugee standing to proceed for over 70 years. UNRWA’s flawed coverage has led to discrimination and a gross abuse of human rights for these Palestinian Arabs pressured to reside in these over-crowded and degrading camps separated from their fellow Palestinian Arabs.

That human rights organisations such because the UN Human Rights Committee and Amnesty Worldwide stay silent on the plight of those penned in Palestinian Arabs and the circumstances by which they reside is equally reprehensible.

UNRWA makes clear that it has no say within the camps being closed or remaining open:

“UNRWA does not administer or police the camps, as this is the responsibility of the host authorities.”

However UNRWA does have the facility to pressure their closure by withholding monetary help to these PLO and Hamas-administered camps except their residents are progressively moved out and resettled among the many basic Palestinian Arab populations in Gaza and the West Bank.

UNRWA itself readily admits the stunning circumstances present in these camps which have additionally turn into breeding grounds for planning and implementing violence and murderous assaults towards Israel’s civilian inhabitants

Jenin Camp on the West Bank:

  • borders the Jenin municipality and was established in 1953
  • has a inhabitants of 14000 that lives on simply 0.42 sq. km of land
  • based on UNRWA: 

“experiences one of many highest charges of unemployment and poverty among the many 19 West Bank refugee camps… Unemployment and poverty has affected the youth particularly, leading to widespread dissatisfaction and frustration and contributing to larger faculty dropout charges amongst youthful youngsters.

Jabalia Camp within the Gaza Strip:

  • Is the closest camp to the Erez border crossing with Israel
  • Has a inhabitants of 114,000 that lives on 1.5 sq. km of land and is without doubt one of the most densely populated locations on Earth.
  • UNRWA concedes:

“Overcrowding and a lack of living space characterize Jabalia camp. Shelters are built in close vicinity and there is a general lack of recreational and social space. In many cases, residents have had to add extra floors to their shelters to accommodate their families, in some cases without proper design. Many live in substandard conditions.”

Closing Jenin and Jabalia and resettling their 128000 inmates can be an excellent begin.

UNRWA donors must strain UNRWA to demand that Hamas and the PLO shut all 27 camps—threatening to scale back their pledges if this doesn’t occur.


The marked absence of rich Arab-donor international locations within the following record of the highest 20 donor international locations to UNWRA in 2021 makes miserable studying.


These lacking rich Arab donor international locations have: 

  • the political and monetary clout to pressure the PLO and Hamas to shut these camps and
  • the potential to make substantial pledges to UNRWA to fund the profitable resettlement of their long-suffering fellow Arabs.

This humanitarian catastrophe being perpetuated by the PLO and Hamas on their very own folks should be ended.

Creator’s notice: The cartoon — commissioned completely for this text — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one in every of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators — whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and worldwide media publications for many years.

David Singer — Bio and Archives

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Basis Member of the Worldwide Analyst Community and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine Worldwide—a corporation calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allotted between Israel and Jordan as the 2 successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Earlier articles written by him might be discovered at: jordanispalestine.blogspot.com

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