This year, the Palestinian people mark the 70th anniversary of Nakba under extremely difficult and complicated political and economic circumstances that threaten the liquidation of the question of refugees and the cause of Palestine as a whole, especially with the cuts made by UNRWA, in addition to Washington’s willingness to transfer its embassy to Jerusalem on the anniversary of the Nakba.
Tayseer Nasrallah, a member of the Palestinian National Council and chairman of the Jaffa Cultural Center, said Nakba’s anniversary this year falls on extremely complicated circumstances, as the US plans to carry out the so-called Deal of the Century and transfer the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Occupied Jerusalem, which requires due attention.
He added that the masses of refugees are aware that 70 years after their catastrophe, the plot against their right has not stopped, and it is growing dangerously, which calls for concerted efforts to thwart those schemes.
Erasing the Palestinian national project
For his part, Imad Ashtawi, a member of the National Committee for the Right of Return, said that the plot against Palestinian refugees has been going on and it is witnessed more than ever before on the 70th anniversary of Nakba. This requires the speedy end of the Palestinian division and the unification of the efforts of refugee rights institutions first and then all Palestinian groups to thwart all plots against Palestinians.
Activists in Palestinian refugee camps revealed that there were plans by several parties to subjugate refugees in the camps under the claim of ‘collecting informal weapons’, thus preventing resistance activities and killing the national spirit, as the camps were at the forefront of national action, especially the camps of Balata and Jenin in the West Bank. This is in line with the subjugation of the camps and the implementation of schemes to liquidate the Palestinian cause.
Yasser Abu Kishk, Director General of Camps in the Department of Refugee Affairs at the PLO, told the PIC reporter, “The 70th anniversary of the Nakba comes at a time refugee camps remain in a difficult position and limited space, and in spite of increased needs, lack of financial resources, reduced UNRWA services, political plots and the starvation of our people.”
Drying of sources
He pointed out that there is a plan being implemented on the ground to end the services of UNRWA, that is to say the issue is no longer a plot but rather it is being implemented by drying up the resources of UNRWA. The United States did not only stop its financial aid to UNRWA, but rather it is pressuring other countries to do so, until UNRWA is unable to meet its obligations to Palestine refugees.
The refugee population in the West Bank is more than 1,250,000, who live in the camps. In Gaza, there are 1.5 million refugees, 600,000 of them live in refugee camps. In Jordan, there are more than two million refugees, 600,000 of whom live in camps. In Syria, there are 600,000 Palestinian refugees of whom 400,000 live in camps. In Lebanon, there are 500,000 refugees; half of them live in camps.
Regarding the United States’ move to transfer its embassy to Jerusalem on the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, Abu Kishk noted that the United States of America has been hostile to the Palestinian people ever since the Nakba. It has been fighting for a long time to end UNRWA services and hand its responsibility over to the Palestinian Authority. It is being rude towards the Palestinians people and it exploits the weakness of our people who live under occupation.”
He stressed that the transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem not only targets the Palestinian people; but the Arab and Muslim nations and their holiest sanctities. It means that the United States does not pay attention to the Arab and Muslim nations. All of this requires a serious stance from the Arab and Muslim nations to support the Palestinian people, who are standing alone.
He stressed that moving the embassy along with the reductions of UNRWA’s services is a way to liquidate the cause of the Palestinian people. This means that Palestinians will become third class citizens with no rights, who could be uprooted at any time