The YMCA-YWCA Joint Advocacy Initiative issues this bi-weekly newsletter to keep you updated on the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories related to the Israeli occupation.
US aid cut to Palestinians hits NGOs hard
For Nermin Saydam, a 35-year-old Palestinian NGO worker, the United States' decision to cut $200m of economic aid to the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip is devastating.
"I never expected this to happen to me," the mother of two, who works as a project manager with the Gaza Envision 2020 USAID programme, said on Saturday. For many NGO workers, the announcement on Friday that President Donald Trump had ordered the State Department to "redirect" the funding to unspecified "high-priority projects elsewhere" means no more work nor income.
Standing on the campus of Birzeit University in Ramallah (Palestine) one gets a full flavour of the beauty of Palestine as well as of its electric tension. Dryness in the hills is broken by patches of flowers. Watching me look over at the flowers, a young student approaches me and asks what I am looking at. I point to a verge of flowers - red mainly, but also purple and blue. The student says, those are shaqa'iq an-naa'manor anemones. They are dazzling. The student tells me about the tensions at the university. There are always tensions at the university. A few days before, the Israeli police had tried to enter the campus to arrest some student leaders. It is a normal situation. A warm day, beautiful flowers and the threat of violence from the Israeli authorities.
US set to announce it rejects Palestinian 'right of return' - TV report
The Trump Administration will announce in the next few days that it rejects the long-standing Palestinian demand for a "right of return" for million of refugees and their descendants to Israel, an Israeli television report said Saturday night. The US will announce a policy that, "from its point of view, essentially cancels the 'right of return,'" the report said.
The "right of return" is one of the key core issues of dispute in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Palestinians claim that five million people - tens of thousands of original refugees from what is today's Israel, and their millions of descendants - have a "right of return." Israel rejects the demand, saying that it represents a bid by the Palestinians to destroy Israel by weight of numbers. Israel's population is almost nine million, some three-quarters of whom are Jewish. An influx of millions would mean Israel could no longer be a Jewish-majority state.
A joint program of East Jerusalem YMCA and YWCA of Palestine, works for Peace with Justice in Palestine, based on Humanitarian and Christian Values, by mobilizing the world movements of YMCA and YWCA, churches, church-based organizations, UN agencies, and other relevant organizations to influence decision-makers and prompt actions that contribute to end Israeli occupation and all its violations of International Law.
Joint Advocacy Initiative YMCA Street - Beit Sahour - Palestine P. O. Box 19023, East Jerusalem Tel / Fax: + 970 (0)2 2774540 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org