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After Bitter Trump Years, Palestinians ‘Thank America’ Again

At the Al Jarazun refugee camp, Mohammad Zayed on Thursday expressed feelings he had not heard from Palestinians during President Donald Trump’s term.

49-year-old Zyed told AFP that the drug was given to AFP when he visited a camp clinic on the west bank under Israeli occupation after Trump cut funding to the United Nations Relief and Refugee Organization (UNRWA) in 2018. He said he realized he was missing.

The day after US President Joe Biden returned aid to Palestinians to $ 235 million, a sharp breakthrough from a solid pro-Israeli Trump administration said restaurant owners “regained US support. Thank you for that. “

“The camp’s living conditions are harsh and UNRWA needs help to care for refugees,” said Zaid.

The State Department said it would donate $ 150 million to UNRWA on Wednesday. The Trump administration cut off funding in 2018.





UNRWA workers clean the streets at the Rapha refugee camp in the Gaza Strip
AFP / SAID KHATIB

Founded in 1949, a year after Israel’s founding, UNRWA now provides housing, schools and other care to more than 5 million Palestinian refugees and their descendants.

Israel cheered when it cut back on funding for institutions accusing Trump of teaching agitation against the Jewish state, arguing that it should not exist in its current form.

But for many Palestinians, UNRWA provides important support, including Al Jarazun near the Jewish settlement of Beitel on the west coast, where the Israeli flag flutters over cramped Palestinian camps.

To enter Aljarazun from the south, you need to walk along the concrete wall that separates the Palestinian community from the settlement.

Like many Palestinian refugee camps, tents in recent decades have been replaced by low-rise concrete buildings, many of which live in some of the most densely populated urban areas in the world.



Palestinian gestures outside the United Nations Health Center in the Palestinian refugee camp in Al Jarazun near Ramallah on the West Bank


Palestinian gestures outside the United Nations Health Center in the Palestinian refugee camp in Al Jarazun near Ramallah on the West Bank
AFP / ABBAS MOMANI

UNRWA operates throughout the occupied Palestinian territories, including the West Bank, Israeli annexed East Jerusalem, and Gaza, and has been blocked by the Jewish state since 2007, when Hamas Islamists took power in the coastal areas. Is.

“President Biden’s decision was a defeat for his predecessor, Trump,” Shady Al Astarr, a 28-year-old private school teacher in Khan Unis, southern Gaza, told AFP.

A densely populated area of ​​about 2 million Palestinians, Gaza suffers from a poverty rate of about 50 percent, at least in part due to the blockade of Israel.



United Nations Health Center in Palestinian Refugee Camp in Aljarazoon near Ramallah, West Bank


United Nations Health Center in Palestinian Refugee Camp in Aljarazoon near Ramallah, West Bank
AFP / ABBAS MOMANI

Difficulties increased during the Covid-19 pandemic as Hamas imposed strict blockades to control the spread of the virus in outlying areas with poor medical infrastructure.

Saba Skkar, 30, who works at a hair dressing shop in Gaza, said the resumption of US aid “improves economic conditions, but in a small way.”

“We have been waiting for this decision for a long time,” she told AFP, calling Biden’s move “positive but slow.”

In addition to UNRWA support, the Biden administration provided $ 75 million in economic and development assistance to the West Bank and Gaza, and $ 10 million in peacebuilding efforts.

UNRWA Chairman Philippe Lazzarini said the funding agencies were “not more satisfied” with the new support from Washington.

In contrast, Israel’s US ambassador to the United States, Gilad Erdan, said he had conveyed “disappointment and objection” to Washington.

He argued that UNRWA should not be funded until, among other reforms, “removes anti-Semitic content from the educational curriculum.”

Returning to Aljarazun, former teacher Omar Amber praised the U.S. move as a step towards “advancing”, but said donations would not help Palestinians achieve their aspirations, regardless of amount. Emphasized.

“Even if the United States gives us millions or billions of dollars, it’s not (enough) good,” he said in a camp with a monument to the late Palestinian iconic leader Yasser Arafat. I stood in the main square and said.

Former Palestinian Ministry of Education officials said Biden merely “corrected” some of Trump’s failures, but did not “dare” force Israel into dramatic changes.

“We want the United States to take a step on the ground against the occupation,” Amber said.

“Palestinians, like everyone else, want to live freely in our Republic of Palestine. Freely move from place to place (without Israeli restrictions),” he said. Said.

“Nothing will change in the next four years,” he predicts.



After Bitter Trump Years, Palestinians ‘Thank America’ Again Source link After Bitter Trump Years, Palestinians ‘Thank America’ Again

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