- Title: Palestinian refugees welcome U.S. decision to restart aid
- Date: 8th April 2021
- Summary: DHEISHEH REFUGEE CAMP, BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK (APRIL 8, 2021) (REUTERS) SIGN OF DHEISHEH REFUGEE CAMP AT ENTRANCE PEOPLE AND VEHICLES INSIDE REFUGEE CAMP PEOPLE WALKING INSIDE REFUGEE CAMP VARIOUS OF BOY EATING ICE-CREAM DHEISHEH REFUGEE CAMP, BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK (APRIL 7, 2021) (REUTERS) FLYING U.N FLAG VIEW OF UNRWA HEALTH CENTRE AT CAMP SIGN OF UNRWA (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN REFUGEE, AHMED ODEH, SAYING: "The UNRWA is the only witness of the Palestinian Nakbeh and the Palestinian refugee, we are keen to keep this right (of return). The former American administration tried to stop these funds to the Palestinian people and specially the Palestinian refugees. Today we are satisfied about that decision of the new American administrative to give this fund to the UNRWA to help the Palestinian refugees inside of Palestine. We are happy and we hope that these decisions will be as a way stand by the Palestinian people and the Palestinian refugee in Palestine." FAR'A REFUGEE CAMP, TUBAS, WEST BANK (APRIL 8, 2021) (REUTERS) VIEW REFUGEE CAMP KIDS WALKING INSIDE CAMP PEOPLE WALKING AT CAMP UNRWA HEALTH CENTRE AT REFUGEE CAMP CHILDREN STANDING INSIDE HEALTH CENTRE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN REFUGEE, SUBHI MOHAMMAD HASAN ALLIAN, SAYING: "Any funding for the refugee camps and the refugees is of good will and is good for us, it improves the people's circumstances because especially during the pandemic people are not working nor making money." AL-FAWAR REFUGEE CAMP, HEBRON, WEST BANK (APRIL 8, 2021) (REUTERS) (MUTE) DRONE FOOTAGE OF AL-FAWAR REFUGEE CAMP IN WEST BANK MAGHAZI REFUGEE CAMP, GAZA (APRIL 8, 2021) (REUTERS) HEAD OF PLO (PALESTINIAN LIBERATION ORGANIZATION) REFUGEE AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT, AHMED ABU HOULI TALKING ON PHONE SIGN OF PLO (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HEAD OF PLO (PALESTINIAN LIBERATION ORGANIZATION) REFUGEE AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT, AHMED ABU HOULI, SAYING: "This U.S funding opens the door for many other countries who have stopped their funding for UNRWA or who have minimized their funding for the UNRWA to follow the steps of the U.S administration with this funding that is expected very soon." DHEISHEH REFUGEE CAMP, BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK (APRIL 7, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF BUILDING AND HOUSES CLOSE TO EACH OTHER AT DHEISHEH CAMP DHEISHEH REFUGEE CAMP, BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK (APRIL 8, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF CHILDREN NSIDE REFUGEE CAMP AMMAN, JORDAN (APRIL 7, 2021) (REUTERS) 21 . UNRWA COMMISSIONER GENERAL, PHILIPPE LAZZARINI, SPEAKING TO REPORTER IN OFFICE (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNRWA COMMISSIONER-GENERAL PHILIPPE LAZZARINI SAYING : "There is no doubt that COVID has added an additional layer of stress and when I describe the despair, last week when when I went to Ein al-Hilweh in Lebanon (Arabic) 'people were saying' listen what so my chance in life today, I can choose between dying from COVID, dying from hunger or dying crossing the sea, what kind of life is this." AL-FAWAR REFUGEE CAMP, HEBRON, WEST BANK (APRIL 8, 2021) (REUTERS) (MUTE) DRONE FOOTAGE SHOWING VIEW OF REFUGEE CAMP
- Embargoed: 22nd April 2021 14:14
- Keywords: Biden Israel Palestinians UNRWA USA refugees
- Location: BETHLEHEM, TUBAS, HEBRON, WEST BANK/GAZA CITY, MAGHAZI REFUGEE CAMP, GAZA/ AMMAN, JORDAN
- City: BETHLEHEM, TUBAS, HEBRON, WEST BANK/GAZA CITY, MAGHAZI REFUGEE CAMP, GAZA/ AMMAN, JORDAN
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Middle East
- Reuters ID: LVA001E7NWY87
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Palestinian refugees on Thursday (April 8) welcomed the U.S. announcement that it will renew humanitarian aid, marking a break with the Trump era.
President Joe Biden's administration said on Wednesday (April 7) that it will provide $235 million to the Palestinians and restart funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which assists 5.7 million registered Palestinian refugees.
It was the clearest sign yet of Biden's apparent intent to repair ties with the Palestinians, who boycotted the Trump White House for most of his tenure, accusing him of pro-Israel bias.
"We are happy," said Ahmed Odeh in Bethlehem's Deheisheh refugee camp in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. "The former American administration tried to stop these funds to the Palestinian people."
"Any funding for the refugee camps and the refugees is out of good will and is good for us ... people are not working or making money, especially during the pandemic," said Subhi Allian, 71, outside an UNRWA clinic in Far'a refugee camp near Tubas.
Most UNRWA-registered refugees are descendants of 700,000 Palestinians who were driven out of their homes or fled fighting in the 1948 war that led to Israel's creation.
Many want the right to return to their families' former lands in pre-1948 Palestine, lands which now lie in Israel. Israel rejects any such right as a demographic threat to its Jewish majority.
In a Twitter video late on Wednesday, Gilad Erdan, Israel's Ambassador to the United States and the United Nations, voiced "disappointment and objection" about the renewal of funding to the refugee agency without reforming it.
"UNRWA schools regularly use materials that incite against Israel and the twisted definition used by the agency to determine who is a refugee only perpetuates the conflict," he said. "It should not exist in its current form."
The Biden plan will provide $150 million to UNRWA and agency officials hope it will lead to more donations from the United States and others.
However, UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini told Reuters that the agency would "still struggle" amid reduced donations from elsewhere and cuts to their overseas development budgets by Australia and Britain.
Two priorities were COVID-19 and Lebanon, where last week he found residents of the country's largest Palestinian refugee camp to be more desperate than he had ever known them.
(Production: Mohammed Abu Ganeyeh, Yosri Al-Jamal, Fadi Shana, Raneen Sawafta, Roleen Tafakji, Suheir Sheikh)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None