Commissioner-General’s statement: Special Political and Decolonization Committee
New York, 9 November 2018
Excellencies, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen,
It is a pleasure for me to present my annual report to the General Assembly on UNRWA’s work for Palestine refugees in the Near East.
As per established practice, while the written report before you describes trends and events in 2017, my presentation will update you about significant developments in 2018.
A ceasefire agreement has brought Israel and Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas back from the cusp of yet another calamitous war. However fragile, it offers a rare opportunity for all parties to finally break the cycle of recurring hostilities that has killed thousands since 2007.
What’s new? For the first time since the 2014 war, a plan for a long-term ceasefire between Hamas and Israel started to take hold in early November, only to be disrupted by the largest escalation in over four years. The ceasefire has been restored, but it remains fragile.
General Assembly Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
392nd Meeting (AM)
Briefing Members, Special Rapporteur Covering Human Rights in Occupied Palestinian Territories Calls Gaza ‘Crisis on Top of a Catastrophe’
Ramallah, November 14, 2018 – World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa, Ferid Belhaj, completed a three-day visit to the West Bank and Gaza. This was Belhaj’s first visit since taking over as Regional Vice President, and was aimed at reviewing first-hand the territory’s current economic and social challenges.
14 NOVEMBER 2018
Delegates warned today about escalating tensions in the Gaza Strip, with some welcoming the recently brokered ceasefire in the enclave, as the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) concluded its general debate on Israel’s practices affecting the human rights of people in occupied Arab territories.
The Israeli military launched an extensive series of attacks on Monday and Tuesday, 12-13 November 2018, that targeted residential buildings and civilian objects throughout the Gaza Strip. The bombardment followed an operation conducted by Israeli forces on Palestinian territory that resulted in the killing of at least seven people in Khan Younis, south Gaza. The Israeli military strikes caused massive destruction to property, including to Al Mezan's office, displacement of families, and spread intense fear among the population.
An outbreak of violence has prompted action from the UN agency that educates 270,000 children there.
The education of 270,000 children has been disrupted because of an outbreak of violence in Gaza.
UNRWA - the United Nations agency that provides education for Palestinians - said today it had closed all schools in the Gaza Strip because of the danger to students and teachers.
Responding to the escalation of hostilities between Israel and the Palestinian armed groups in Gaza overnight - the most serious fighting since the 2014 armed conflict - Saleh Higazi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International said:
“The alarming escalation in violence overnight in Gaza raises fears we could witness another spike in civilian bloodshed. Under international humanitarian law, all sides in a conflict have a clear obligation to protect the lives of civilians caught up in the hostilities.
Following a night of violence in Gaza and Israel, Save the Children is calling for an immediate end to the hostilities on both sides, to prevent any further suffering of children and their families. Our Senior Programme Officer and spokesperson, Maher Abdullah, has shared his family’s experience overnight in Gaza.
The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary‑General António Guterres:
The Secretary‑General is following closely the latest security developments in Gaza. He urges all parties to exercise maximum restraint. The United Nations Special Coordinator, Nickolay Mladenov, is working closely with Egypt and all concerned parties to restore calm.
For information media. Not an official record.
Fourth Committee Seventy-third Session, 25th Meeting (AM)
Commissioner-General Defends Humanitarian Nature of Agency’s Work, Reinforces Palestinian Descendants’ Right to Refugee Status
During the thirty-third week of the Great Return March demonstrations in Gaza the Israeli military continued to use lethal and other forms of excessive force on Palestinian protesters and paramedics. The documentation by Al Mezan Center for Human Rights shows that at 3:10pm on Friday, 9 November 2018, Israeli forces used live ammunition, plastic-coated steel bullets, and tear gas canisters, killing one protester and wounding 149 others, including 17 children, ten women, and five women. Of the wounded, 69 sustained injuries from live ammunition, including ten children, one woman.
NEW YORK: Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dr Maleeha Lodhi handed over the country’s enhanced contribution for Palestinian refugees to the representative of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA), the branch of UN working to provide relief in the region.
Speaking on the occasion at the Pakistan Mission to the UN, ambassador Lodhi said this was done on the instructions of the government of Pakistan, and in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of the people.
November 7, 2018. Kerem Shalom Crossing was closed to transport of goods, other than fuel, on Monday and part of Tuesday, November 5-6. Gaza truck drivers and trucking companies staged a protest against the Palestinian Authority’s decision to impose a 30-shekel (ILS) tax on each truck passing through the crossing. These charges come on top of fees that transporters already pay to crossing operators on the Israeli and Palestinian sides of the crossing, which reach up to 1,200 ILS per truck. Palestinian Authority officials denied entry to the drivers until the new fees were paid.
2,791 referrals issued to Gaza patients to health facilities outside the Palestinian Ministry of Health
52% of Gaza patient and companion permit applications to Israeli authorities for exit via Erez approved
58% Gaza patients
46% Gaza patient companions
82% of West Bank patient and companion permit applications to Israeli authorities approved
0 Gaza patient called for security interview
11 Palestinians were killed, including 4 children, and 943 injured by the Israeli forces during the reporting period 21 October to 3 November, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH).
Eight Palestinians, including one child, were killed during the demonstrations, while the remaining three children were killed due to an Israeli attack, which took place on 28 October.
The present report of the Working Group on the Financing of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East provides a description of the activities of the Group in 2018 and a detailed outline of the current financial situation of the Agency. The Working Group adopted the report at its meeting on 22 August 2018.(a) As in previous reports of the Group, the present report closes with concluding remarks addressed to all Member States.
(a) The United States of America has dissociated itself from the present report.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY SECOND COMMITTEE
SEVENTY-THIRD SESSION, 23RD MEETING (AM)
The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) today introduced 31 draft resolutions and approved five of them, including one calling on Israel to cease its occupation of the Palestinian Territory and Syrian Golan.
Friday, 9 November 2018 19:57 GMT
Gulf state to donate $90 million over six months
Israel: Qatar standing in for Hamas rival Abbas
Palestinian killed, Israeli greenhouse torched (Adds violence in paragraph 11)
By Nidal al-Mughrabi
GAZA, Nov 9 (Reuters) - A $15 million Qatari cash infusion was paid out to impoverished Palestinian civil servants in the Gaza Strip on Friday, offering Hamas a potential domestic reprieve though Israel said the money would not go to the dominant Islamist group.