Opposition to Trump’s Israel policies unites Fatah, PLO

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas chairs a meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee at the Palestinian Authority headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah on February 3. (AFP)
Updated 05 February 2018
0

Opposition to Trump’s Israel policies unites Fatah, PLO

AMMAN: Palestine’s often-fractious political scene has united behind the proactive policies of President Mahmoud Abbas in his reaction to recent decisions by US President Donald Trump and his administration.
Following a meeting of Fatah’s Central Committee on Sunday, committee member Abbas Zaki told Arab News that Fatah greatly admired Abbas’ recent work for the Palestinian cause.
“We really appreciated the non-stop actions of the president as he stands firm for Palestinian rights and tries to minimize the damage caused by any refusal to cooperate with America’s unilateral policies.”
Fatah’s central committee issued a statement welcoming the decision by the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to create a higher committee to implement the decisions of the Palestine Central Council.
The statement rejected America’s recent actions and called on the international community “to agree to a new mechanism that is able to establish a basis for any political process that can lead to a political process and peace.”
The PLO issued its own statement on Sunday, in which it said that the new higher committee will look into suspending recognition of Israel until Israel recognizes Palestine in accordance with the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. The PLO and Israel exchanged letters of recognition on the eve of the signing of the September 13, 1993 Oslo Accords.
Neither the PLO or Fatah made any direct reference in their statements to suspending security coordination with Israel.
Explaining why Fatah met after the PLO executive committee and not before — as is usually the case — Zaki said: “We are not in a revolutionary phase now and we need to be careful during this sensitive period.”
A source close to the PLO claimed Abbas held the meeting of the PLO executive committee first because he has more influence on it.
“Some factions of the PLO receive monthly stipends and therefore the president is able to pass the decisions he wants much more easily within the PLO executive committee than within Fatah,” the source told Arab News.
Omar Kullab, a Jordanian-Palestinian columnist with roots in Gaza, told Arab News that emotions are currently running high in Fatah cadres, particularly in Gaza.
“Rank and file Fatah personnel in Gaza are very upset and want to end the charade called the peace process,” he said. “They want Fatah to make decisions that encourage resistance to the Israeli occupation.”
In its statement on Sunday, Fatah did praise Palestinians who stood up to Israeli settlers. It also called on Palestinians to document cases of land theft so that they can be presented as war crimes at the International Criminal Court.
Both Fatah and the PLO vehemently condemned the Trump administration’s recent actions in their statement, included its unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, its threat to cut off funding of any country that voted in favor of a draft resolution asking the US to reverse that decision, and its significant reduction in America’s financial contribution to the United Nations.


UN, Palestinians launch humanitarian appeal after funding cuts

Updated 17 December 2018
0

UN, Palestinians launch humanitarian appeal after funding cuts

  • The 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan outlined 203 projects to be carried out by 88 different groups
  • The plan prioritized 1.4 million Palestinians most in need of food, health care, shelter, water and sanitation

JERUSALEM: The United Nations and the Palestinian Authority on Monday appealed for $350 million in humanitarian relief for Palestinians next year, saying that they needed more but had to be realistic in the face of “record-low” funding.
The 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan outlined 203 projects to be carried out by 88 different groups, including UN agencies and non-governmental organizations.
The plan prioritized 1.4 million Palestinians most in need of food, health care, shelter, water and sanitation, said Jamie McGoldrick, the UN humanitarian coordinator in the Gaza Strip, West Bank and East Jerusalem.
“Humanitarian actors are facing unprecedented challenges, including record-low funding and a rise in attacks to delegitimize humanitarian action,” he said in a joint statement issued on Monday, ahead of the appeal’s launch in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Although “much more assistance is needed,” McGoldrick said, the plan was “reflecting what we can realistically accomplish in this highly constrained context.”
Over the past year, the United States has slashed its funding to the Palestinians, including to the UN agency that provides services to 5 million Palestinian refugees.
The United States promised $365 million to the agency in 2018, but paid only a first instalment of $60 million before announcing in August that it would halt all future donations.
The move was widely seen as a means of pressuring the Palestinian leadership to enter peace negotiations with Israel.
The Palestinians want to establish a state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem — territories that Israel captured and occupied in the 1967 Middle East war.
US-brokered peace talks between the sides collapsed in 2014 and a bid by US President Donald Trump to restart them has so far showed little progress.
Around 77 percent of the funds sought in the 2019 plan would go to Gaza, the appeal organizers said, because the densely populated coastal strip faced a “dire humanitarian situation” after years of an Israeli-led blockade, internal Palestinian political divisions and casualties from demonstrations and recurring hostilities.
“The humanitarian context in the oPt (Occupied Palestinian Territories) is still deteriorating due to the Israeli occupation violations in a time of lack of resources and declining funds because of the politicization of the humanitarian aid,” Palestinian Social Development Minister Ibrahim Al-Shaer said in the statement.