Posts

Save the Children warns fresh violence may destroy last vestiges of resilience  

Feelings of depression, hyperactivity, a preference for being alone, and aggression were reported by 95 percent of children in Gaza, new research released by Save the Children has shown.

The combination of these symptoms in unison is consistent with deep psychological distress, with more than 96 percent of their caregivers also saying they recognized all four groups of symptoms in their sons, daughters or grandchildren.

The survey, involving 150 caregivers and 150 children living in Gaza, was conducted before the recent wave of protests in which more than 100 people – including 14 children – were killed in six weeks by Israeli forces.

Findings revealed that children of Gaza were already showing worrying signs of distress including nightmares, which were experienced by 63 percent, as well as difficulties sleeping, reported by 68 percent.



For children, the threat of conflict, the fear of bombs, and the constant insecurity caused by the unstable political situation were the biggest source of stress, with 60 percent of caregivers saying it was taking a toll. Additionally, aircraft sounds were cited as the single biggest source of fear in 78 percent of children.

Boys and girls regularly said that they were “scared” or left feeling “unsafe” by the prospect of war or “bombs being thrown” at them and their families. This led some to fear sleeping at night to “protect them from having bad dreams”.

“I have many horrible nightmares, and a constant feeling of fear that I may be targeted with a bomb or shelled, or injured or killed,” said Samar*, a 15-year-old girl from Gaza who has lived through three wars, remembers nothing but life under blockade and who recently attended the March of Return protests.



“This feeling has gripped me and many other children as well. There are many children who have been psychologically damaged by their fear – they are terrified and this has greatly affected their behavior.” 

Save the Children is deeply concerned that the increasing violence children are experiencing and the growing sense of uncertainty will push their resilience to breaking point.

“When I was at the March and saw people injured I was very upset,” said Samar.“I would cry when I saw innocent children who committed no crime get injured and I cried when I saw dead children. It was heartbreaking and painful. I am still sad – they were just children and I have seen them (injured) – it is a really painful feeling.” 

Despite the huge pressures many children were facing, the research found that most were exhibiting signs of resilience. More than 80 percent said they could speak to family and friends about their problems and 90 percent said they felt supported by their parents.

“Much of children’s security was related to a sense of stability that their families were able to offer, with more than 80 percent of the 150 children interviewed saying they did not feel safe being away from their parents,” said Dr. Marcia Brophy, a Senior Mental Health Advisor for Save the Children in the Middle East.



“However, recent weeks have seen thousands suffer through the injury or death of a father, mother or a relative. Such a loss of family security in an already insecure environment risks pushing children to the brink of a mental health crisis and poses a significant threat to children’s fragile coping mechanisms. This places them athigh risk of toxic stress, the most dangerous form of stress response caused by a strong or prolonged exposure to adversity.” 

Fresh protests are expected to continue until 5thJune, the commemoration of forced displacement that occurred after the 1967 war. More than 1,000 children, and at least 11,000 adults, have already been injured by Israeli forces since the protests began.

“It is too soon to understand the full impact the recent violence has had on children, some of whom have lost a parent or loved one, or had to become carers for those injured in the protests,” said Dr. Brophy. “What we do know is that the break down of family security is one of the key triggers for mental health issues among children in conflict. A whole generation of children in Gaza is balancing on a knife edge where one more shock could have devastating life-long consequences.” 

The last ten years have seen families face a host of difficulties and uncertainties in Gaza. The Israeli blockade, as well as three conflicts, has put enormous strain on the economy and key services.

Almost 90 percent of the 150 caregivers interviewed said that the blockade has had a significant impact on their and their children’s daily lives. Widespread electricity shortages – that have left most families with just a few hours of power every day – were cited as the single biggest negative factor, impacting 60 percent of children.

Children often expressed feeling “angry” when the electricity was cut or said they felt anxious, alone and like “there was no one with them” during the night when the lights were off. Caregivers meanwhile were most concerned by the deteriorating economic situation, with nearly half saying it was their biggest source of stress of fear.

In the last 15 years, the poverty rate has risen from 30 to more than 50 percent while unemployment is up from 35 to 43 percent and now stands at 60 percent among youth. Less than 20 years ago, 96 percent of people had clean drinking water, now 93 percent don’t. Medical and food supplies are also scarce and expensive while permits to leave Gaza for medical treatment are increasingly hard to get.




“Many children in Gaza have known nothing but blockade, war and a growing cycle of deprivation. Their stress and anxiety compounds with every day that they continue to live in uncertainty. And, on top of this, many have been injured or witnessed violence,” said Jennifer Moorehead, Save the Children’s Country Director for the occupied Palestinian territory. 

“They are trying to recover in an extremely challenging situation where there are not enough hospital beds or medicines to treat children properly, where there is no electricity for most of the day and where they are increasingly seeing their parents struggling to make ends meet. 

“The children of Gaza are resilient but they must urgently receive more support to overcome their traumatic experiences. The international community needs to step up its assistance and introduce more mental health and psycho-social support into schools, extra curricular activities and homes.Only by doing this immediate step, as well as focusing on ending the blockade and finding a durable and just solution, will children have a more hopeful future.

6 students killed, 15 schools damaged in Israeli attacks on Gaza

The Ministry of Education in Gaza has announced that 6 school students were killed and 15 schools were damaged in the latest Israeli aggression on Gaza.

The ministry said in a press statement that the martyrs are: Ismail Abdulal, Mohammed Atyya, Amir Ayyad, Muhannad al-Sawarka, Muath al-Sawarka and Wasim al-Sawarka.

It added that 15 schools were partially damaged by nearby airstrikes in different Gaza Strip areas.

The ministry pointed out that hundreds of school students have suffered from panic and trauma as a result of the shelling that targeted homes and civilians.

It called for international human rights organizations to assume their responsibilities toward the Palestinian civilians in Gaza and for holding the Israeli occupation leaders responsible before international courts for their crimes against humanity.

Read more at
https://english.palinfo.com/41943
@Copyright The Palestinian Information Center

Israel’s precision propaganda tries to justify the slaughter of innocents

The seriously misnamed Israel Defence Forces (IDF) and its supporters get very upset when members of the fifth largest army in the world are accused of targeting innocent women and children. They issue vehement denials to the world even though that is exactly what happens as a direct consequence of firing high explosives into densely populated civilian areas.

Even as the bombs are falling, Israeli propaganda goes into top gear. An IDF tweet yesterday announced dramatically: “BREAKING: We just targeted Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza, Baha Abu Al Ata. Al Ata was directly responsible for hundreds of terror attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers. His next attack was imminent.” This was followed quickly up by another post which claimed that the deadly attack was a “precision strike”.

 


That claim is debateable. What the IDF hasbara team failed to mention was that while targeting Abu Al-Ata the occupation army also killed his wife, and seriously injured four of their children and a neighbour. There was nothing “precision” or “surgical” about this strike; it was arguably a war crime.

When you lob Hellfire missiles — “used in a number of targeted killings of high-profile individuals,” explains Wikipedia — and other so-called smart bombs into a civilian area you will kill civilians. Non-combatant civilians were not protected in such a way during World War Two, which is why Article 33 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions was drawn up. It states that no one should be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.



Live: Gaza in flames as Israel kills senior Islamic Jihad official 

Now we have to sit back and witness the twin obscenities not only of Israel ignoring the Geneva Conventions and killing civilians, but also of pro-Israel lobbyists defending such action. Among the many tweets posted in support of the military strike, one which caught my eye came from the public relations director of a German NGO; Josias Terschüren challenged me when I had the temerity to point out that there was no such thing as a “surgical strike” in civilian areas.

Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip have killed eight members of the same family, the Ministry of Health announced today.

A Palestinian house was destroyed, killing 8 members of same family, after Israel carried out air strikes in Gaza on 14 November 2019

A Palestinian house was destroyed, killing 8 members of same family, after Israel carried out air strikes in Gaza on 14 November 2019

Witnesses said Israeli occupation fighters targeted the Al-Sawarka family home at 1:15am local time today, destroying it.

The house is located east of the city of Deir Al-Balah, in the middle of the Gaza Strip.

The Ministry of Health named the deceased as: Rasmi Abu Malhous, 45, Mariam Abu Malhous, 35, Yosra Abu Malhous, 39, Waseem Abu Malhous, 13, Mohannad Abu Malhous, 12, and Mu’az Abu Malhous, 7.

The bodies of two children, Salim and Firas Abu Malhous, were removed from the rubble this morning, it added. Twelve other family members were injured in the attack including a 35-day-old baby who was found cradled in her dead brother Mohannad’s arms following the attack.

LIVE BLOG: Gaza in flames as Israel kills senior Islamic Jihad official

This brings to 34 the number of Palestinians killed in the three days of Israeli bombardment of the Strip. The casualties include eight children and three women. Some 111 people were injured, including 46 children and 20 women.



Those killed were:

  1. Asma Mohammad Hassan Abul-Ata, 39
  2. Bahaa Saleem Hassan Abul-Ata, 42
  3. Mohammad Atiyah Maslah Hamouda, 20
  4. Ibrahim Ahmad Abdul Latifa Al-Dhabous, 26
  5. Zaki Adnan Mohammad Ghanameh, 25
  6. Abdallah Oudh Sakib Al-Bolbeesi, 26
  7. Abdul-Salam Ramadan Ahmad Ahmad, 28
  8. Rani Fayez Rajab Abu-Nasr, 35
  9. Jihad Ayman Ahmad Abu-Khatir, 22
  10. Wael Abdul-Aziz Abdullah Abdul-Nabi, 43
  11. Khalid Maudh Saalim Farraj, 38
  12. Ibrahim Ayman Fathi Abdul-Aal, 17
  13. Ismail Ayman Fathi Abdul-Aal, 16
  14. Ahmad Ayman Fathi Abdul-Aal, 23
  15. Rafat Mohammad Salman Ayyad, 54
  16. Islam Rafat Mohammad Ayyad, 24
  17. Ameer Rafat Mohammad Ayyad, 7
  18. Alaa Jaber Abd Shteiwi, 30
  19. Mahmoud Daham Mahmoud Hathat, 19
  20. Suhail Khidr Khalil Qaniteh, 23
  21. Yousef Rizeq Khalild Abu-Komeel, 35
  22. Mu’min Mohammad Salman Qadoum, 26
  23. Mohamed Abdulla Shurrab, 28
  24. Haitham Hafez Al-Bakri, 22
  25. Obada Hassan Al-Kordi, 28
  26. Mohammad Hassan Abu-Mu’amar, 25
  27. Rasmi Abu Malhous, 45
  28. Yosra Abu Malhous, 39
  29. Mariam Abu Malhous, 35
  30. Mohannad Abu Malhous, 12
  31. Mu’az Abu Malhous, 7
  32. Waseem Abu Malhous, 13
  33. Firas Abu Malhous
  34. Salim Abu Malhous



For eight years, the residents of the northern occupied West Bank village of Kafr Qaddum have protested every single Friday, rain or shine, against Israeli land confiscations and the closure of the village’s southern road by Israeli forces.

The villagers have faced their fair share of bullets, tear gas, injuries, and even death. But nothing could have prepared them for what happened on Friday, July 12, when Israeli snipers set their sights on 10-year-old Abdul Rahman Shteiwi.

It was a normal summer Friday in the village. Following the conclusion of the afternoon prayers, residents gathered in the sweltering heat and began their march, as they always did, from the town center towards the nearby Israeli settlement of Kedumim.

They carried posters and Palestinian flags, and chanted slogans demanding that the village’s road be opened.

Abdul Rahman Shteiwi, 10, was shot in the head by Israeli forces in Kafr Qaddum on Friday, July 12, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Murad Shteiwi)

“Our protests are always non-violent. We are armed only with signs and flags,” Murad Shteiwi, head of the popular resistance committee in Kafr Qaddum told Mondoweiss.

“At most, sometimes the young men throw stones in response to the soldiers, but that’s it. Never more than that.”

It wasn’t long, Shteiwi said, before the demonstration divulged into more violent confrontations, with Israeli forces firing tear gas, rubber bullets, and sound bombs into the crowd.

“But this Friday, they were using live ammunition, and they weren’t just firing it in the air. They were firing it at the people,” he told Mondoweiss, adding that there were Israeli snipers targeting people.

All of a sudden, the villagers saw Abdul Rahman fall to the ground, blood spilling from his head. “He wasn’t even at the front of the clashes, there were tons of other young men in front of him. But they aimed at the child on purpose and shot him,” Shteiwi recounted.

After driving Abdul Rahman to the nearest hospital 20 kilometers away, Nablus’ Rafidia Surgical Hospital, he was rushed into surgery, where doctors spent three hours trying to control the bleeding and stabilize him.

Doctors told the boy’s family that he was shot with an expanding live bullet that exploded into more than 100 fragments after it lodged in his head, wreaking havoc on his brain and causing severe damage to three major blood vessels.

“The doctors told us that by the way he was shot, and the kind of bullet he was shot with, it is clear that the soldiers’ intention was to kill. Abdul Rahman was not supposed to live,” Shteiwi told Mondoweiss.

Middle East Eye quoted an Israeli army spokeswoman as saying that soldiers “used riot dispersal means” in the town, when questioned about the shooting of Abdul Rahman.

According to the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), whose activists were present on Friday’s protest, Israeli forces denied the use of live ammunition.

However, the group said in a statement that its activists “found a 5.56 bullet case on the ground where protesters had been standing some 15 minutes before. The case was hot to the touch suggesting it had been fired that afternoon. Dozens more bullet cases were also found by villagers following the protest.”

Shteiwi insists that the shooting was intentional. “The sniper was professional, he knew what he was doing. This could not have been an accident, or just crowd control as they say,” he told Mondoweiss.

‘Indescribable feeling’

Since his surgery, Abdul Rahman was transferred to the Tel HaShomer hospital in Tel Aviv, where he has remained in a coma. His father has remained by his side and has been giving updates to the town on his son’s condition.

Shteiwi, a relative of the family, says that the entire village has been in mourning since Friday, with shops shuttering their doors, and others canceling their weddings.

“Everyone is distraught,” Shteiwi said, adding that Abdul Rahman’s mother had just undergone open heart surgery two weeks before her son was shot. “Just since Friday, we have had to take her to the hospital three times because her health keeps deteriorating,” he said.

Murad Shteiwi is a Kafr Qaddum native, and the northern West Bank coordinator of the popular resistance committee.(Photo courtesy of Murad Shteiwi)

Shteiwi told Mondoweiss that he could not begin to describe the pain of Abdul Rahman’s parents, even though it is one he himself knows well.

“My own son was shot in the leg during protests once,” he said. “The pain of watching your son get shot in front of you, it is indescribable.”

A history of violent suppression

Ever since the villagers of Kafr Qaddum began their weekly marches in 2011, they have been met with violent suppression by Israeli forces.

In the first three years, between 2011-2014, Shteiwi says two residents were disabled for life after being badly injured by Israeli forces.

One man was shot in the mouth with a tear gas canister, fracturing the bones in his face and jaw to the point where he has been unable to speak since. Another, Shteiwi says, was shot in his eyes with a rubber bullet, blinding him.

In 2014, the village was shook when a 75-year-old man participating in the demonstration suffocated and died from tear gas inhalation. He was the first “martyr” from the village.

Before 2014, Shteiwi says that soldiers used rubber bullets and tear gas against protesters. But from 2014-2016, they began employing the widespread use of .22 caliber bullets, or “tutu bullets.”

The Israeli army had long classified .22 caliber rifles as crowd control weapons, but in 2001, they were banned by the Israel military advocate general as a means for crowd dispersal due to the fact that, while small, they can be lethal.

Shteiwi estimates that more than 85 people from Kafr Qaddum were injured with “tutu bullets” between 2014-2016, a large part of them children under the age of 18.

Child hit by teargas canister is taken away at Kafr Qaddum

“After we put so much pressure on the Israelis through the media and the international community, after 2016 they stopped using the tutu bullets as much,” Shteiwi said.

But at the beginning of this year, the villagers noticed the soldiers’ method of “crowd control” take a deadly turn.

“They have started to use live bullets a lot more. Just in january, they shot five guys with live bullets. One kid was shot in the neck and was in critical condition,” Shteiwi said.

In general, he said, soldiers have been shooting live ammunition into the air above the crowds. But on Friday, they were aiming directly at the people.

Why are children at the protests?

Over the years, Shteiwi has been interviewed by countless foreign journalists in regards to the protests in Kafr Qaddum.

One of the most common questions he is asked, when the injury of a child is involved, is “why was the child participating in such activities” that are known to get violent?

Expressing his frustration over such questions, which he says play into the hands of the Israeli occupation, Shteiwi told Mondoweiss: “When people ask why kids are participating, its because they are protesting what they see, what they experience every day under occupation. They feel that they are in a jail, and don’t have basic rights to live. They see that every day, so why wouldn’t they protest?”

“Our message to the international community, is when things like this happen, don’t ask why kids are in the protests, and blame us for what happens to our kids,” he continued.

“Ask instead, what are the circumstances that are forcing children to go protest in the first place? That  is where you will find your answer.”

Israeli warplanes targeted a home in Eastern Gaza killing a pregnant woman and her child.
The Gaza Health Ministry have confirmed the death of, 1 year old, Seba Arar and her pregnant mother Falasteen Arar (37 years old) after Israeli warplanes targeted their home in Eastern Gaza Strip, two sisters were also critically injured in the attack.




In the past 24 hours, Israel has injured upwards of 100 Palestinians and killed 7, in the besieged Gaza Strip.

BELOW ARE THE NAMES OF THOSE MARTYRED:

1. Seba Abu Arar (1 year 2 months old)

2. Falasteen Arar (37 yrs old and pregnant)

3. Raed Abu Tair (19 yrs old)

4. Emad Nasser (22 yrs old)

5. Alaa Al-Boubali (29 yrs old)

6. Ramzi Abdo (31 yrs old)

7. Abdullah Abu Malouh (33 yrs old)




The armed wings of Hamas and Islamic Jihad have responded with the firing of 300 rockets into Israel, no Israelis have been killed.

Israel has used drones, artillery, warships, warplanes, tanks and helicopter strikes against Gaza. The strikes are ongoing and every section of Gaza has been struck, including notably homes and a university, critically injuring scores.

The situation is ongoing.

On Friday, 21 December 2018, the Israeli army murdered five Palestinians, one of whom was disabled, and a 16-year-old, and wounded another 42-temporary-with live ammunition.
A dramatic end of year 2018 for the Palestinians of Gaza!
It’s terrible!


Until when are these Israeli massacres against our youth and our people?
These Palestinians were demonstrating peacefully near the security buffer zones imposed by the Israeli occupation forces on the Gaza Strip’s borders.
More than 13,000 Palestinians in Gaza massively resembled this Friday, December 21, 2018 for the 39th week of the great “March of Return” on the borders-on Friday of “Tribute to Resistance in the West Bank” – in a non-violent initiative in order to show the Palestinians’ attachment to their land, that the right of return is sacred to all the Palestinian people, and to demand the lifting of the inhumane Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip.
Israeli soldiers on the border opened fire killing five people and injuring forty-two
.
Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people continue!
The demonstrators and despite the brutality of the Israeli occupation forces, the real bullets, the tear gas of the occupier, are more than ever determined to continue this type of action. They develop non-violent strategies in the face of this blind occupation
They defy Israeli soldiers with their Palestinian flags in their hands and their peaceful actions.
Shame on this illegal occupation!
Shame on this apartheid state!
Shame on these Israeli crimes against Palestinian civilians!
Shame on this inhuman and deadly Israeli blockade!
Shame on this official international community complicit!
Long live solidarity!
Gaza under blockade resists
Gaza dignity persists
And Gaza the hope exists!
Gaza the brave defies the occupation!
Gaza the abandoned lives!
Gaza the worthy is more than ever determined!
Here, our land and here, our Palestine!
The struggle continues !
Palestine will live!
Justice will triumph!


.
Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people continue!
The demonstrators and despite the brutality of the Israeli occupation forces, the real bullets, the tear gas of the occupier, are more than ever determined to continue this type of action. They develop non-violent strategies in the face of this blind occupation
They defy Israeli soldiers with their Palestinian flags in their hands and their peaceful actions.
Shame on this illegal occupation!
Shame on this apartheid state!
Shame on these Israeli crimes against Palestinian civilians!
Shame on this inhuman and deadly Israeli blockade!
Shame on this official international community complicit!
Long live solidarity!
Gaza under blockade resists
Gaza dignity persists
And Gaza the hope exists!
Gaza the brave defies the occupation!
Gaza the abandoned lives!
Gaza the worthy is more than ever determined!
Here, our land and here, our Palestine!
The struggle continues !
Palestine will live!
Justice will triumph!

chorook 22 years old gaza

chorook 22 years old gaza




“At ten, hemophilia began to penetrate my blood, and my immunity began to weaken somewhat. I spent most of my childhood in the hospital isolation rooms. I remember that my mother could not enter those rooms to relieve me, she was waving through the glass with her hands all the time. The same thing happened in my childhood if I were to spend one holiday outside the hospital, and thanks to the daily conversations between me and the doctors and doctors who turned to provide medical care to me I loved medicine, I planted a dream in Bali, to become a neurologist. , But worsened h Which is more, and this reflected on my average, who did not help me to enter medicine, so I joined the specialty of nursing, which is closest to what I was carrying a dream .. ”

chorook 22 years old gaza

 




ربما تحتوي الصورة على: ‏‏شخص واحد‏، و‏‏جلوس‏‏‏

“From the first moment I followed Israel’s repression of unarmed young people on the Gaza border, and fatal injuries with explosive bullets, I committed myself to go to the nearest border post to rescue the wounded there, better than keeping my house locked or feeling bad, feeling that you have something to offer while you abstain. The first ambulance over the past months to more than 400 injured, and the recovery of two injured until I broke the bullet of an Israeli sniper chest and emerged from my back a week ago, my lungs were damaged a lot and almost doctors would be removed if not for the kindness of God I am breathing now by an industrial tube and I do not know for any reason they intended to hit me, And I am That waiting for pain: not only interested to save the lives of others … I am very scared, I have a beautiful old kid and a half years to come back to him and hugged him .



UNRWA’s closure plan in Jerusalem .. How do refugees hurt?

The girl woke up early in the morning, got up from her bed to wear her planned school uniform in white and green, and wrapped her hair in a ponytail on her back and went to her UNRWA school in the Bab al-Magharba neighborhood of Silwan, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

organized with her colleagues in the morning queue and then proceeded to reveal her fears of the recent decision of the Israeli mayor Nir Barakat to close all UNRWA schools in Jerusalem at the end of the current academic year.


UNRWA’s closure plan in Jerusalem .. How do refugees hurt?

She looked coherent when she knew about herself and said she was currently studying in seventh grade and joined this school in the first grade. But the hushja soon appeared in her voice when she talked about her feelings about the school. “Here is my home and my second family, It is our right to learn in the place we have chosen. ”

“I have learned to read and write and do not belong anywhere else,” Nur said. “The option to attend a municipal school was available, but my parents, as well as my school enrollment, are affiliated with the agency, and I will try to stay there. “sHe said.

UNRWA schools




The three students, together with 50 other students in this school, are studying from the first to the ninth grades and are now threatened with closure, as well as six UNRWA schools in the occupied city, with some 1,800 students studying.

According to the statement issued by the municipality of the occupation, Barakat plans to build municipal schools to accommodate these students, especially those who are educated in UNRWA schools in the Shuafat refugee camp, claiming that it is the only camp in the West Bank that is within the municipal jurisdiction.

There are three UNRWA schools in the camp, two for females and one for males, with a total of 850 students.

We left the Maghrabi neighborhood school in Silwan and went to the UNRWA clinic near Bab al-Sahera in the Old City of Jerusalem. The mayor’s plan is aimed at all the agency’s institutions in the city, and aims to liquidate it and stop its work.

We met with Halima Za’atara (70 years old) with the identity of the West Bank. She was forced to cross military checkpoints to receive free treatment at the Agency’s clinic.

“If I shut down this medical facility, thousands of Palestinians will depend on it for disaster,” Halima said. “I brought my children from a very young age to treatment here and receive vaccinations.

 

Israel to close UNRWA schools in Jerusalem to end refugee ‘lie’

Israel to close UNRWA schools in Jerusalem to end refugee ‘lie’

Israeli Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, yesterday announced that he plans to remove the United Nations’ agency for Palestinian refugees from occupied East Jerusalem, accusing it of “operating illegally and promoting incitement against Israel”.

Following the announcement, the Jerusalem Municipality confirmed that UN schools, which serve about 1,800 students, would be closed by the end of the current school year.

The municipality did not provide a specific time schedule for the closures.

Barkat said in a statement that schools, clinics, and sports centres, among other services operated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in East Jerusalem, will be transferred to the Israeli occupation authorities.



He claimed that bodies were “illegal” and “operate without an Israeli licence”.

The decision, he added, was triggered by the US’ announcement that it had ended all funding to the UN body.

He said that “The US decision has created a rare opportunity to replace UNRWA’s services with services of the Jerusalem Municipality. We are putting an end to the lie of the ‘Palestinian refugee problem’ and the attempts at creating a false sovereignty within a sovereignty.”

Barkat added that the decision was in coordination with the Israeli government.