PA: Palestinian citizens are helpless

PA cabinet head says 80 percent of Gazans rely in one way or another on international aid.

Dalit Halevi ,

Rami Hamdallah
Rami Hamdallah

Rami Hamdallah, the head of the Palestinian Authority (PA) cabinet, on Sunday called on the international community to take coordinated steps to protect "helpless" Palestinian Arab civilians from "the oppression of the Israeli occupation" and to force Israel to comply with the principles of international humanitarian law and human rights.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Hamdallah praised the UN and its various agencies for providing protection to volunteers and humanitarian activists in “Palestinian refugee camps” in both the diaspora and in “Palestine”.

Hamdallah noted in this context that about 80 percent of the residents of Gaza rely in one way or another on international aid.

Hamdallah also called for increased international aid to UNRWA, the UN agency for “Palestinian refugees”, in order to continue to provide assistance to nearly six million Palestinian Arabs.

The U.S. announced in January it would cut some of its funding to UNRWA, citing a need to undertake a fundamental re-examination of the organization, both in the way it operates and the way it is funded.

The organization has since received pledges of $100 million in additional funding from Qatar, Canada, Switzerland, Turkey, New Zealand, Norway, Korea, Mexico, Slovakia, India and France as a means of making up for the aid that was cut by Washington.

More recently, reports said that White House Adviser Jared Kushner is working to shut down UNRWA due to the fact that the agency “perpetuates a status quo, is corrupt, inefficient and doesn’t help peace."

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas blasted the reported efforts, saying the PA would "oppose" and "foil" the plan.