16 April 2009

Refugees of Gaza demand basic human rights, including the right of return

Press Release Date: 15 April 2009

PRC: Gaza Refugees "Perpetual" suffering

PICTURE - Tents again, 60 years after el nakba February 2009

Palestine Return Center (PRC) expresses deep anxiety on the
conditions of Palestinians in Gaza especially refugees who are the
majority. A harsh siege followed by a deadly war has destroyed the
life of people there. PRC calls for a prompt intervention to ease the
refugees' conditions in Gaza until long term solution is implemented.

The PRC has been calling for a resolution to the ongoing problem of
refugees. The Refugees of Gaza as well as abroad demand that their
basic human rights, right of return and self determination which is
recognized by UN resolution 194 and International law.

For almost 3 years now; the Israeli siege on Gaza has been
unrelenting in its destruction of life in Gaza. Many people have died
because they are not even able to travel abroad for treatment while
others still continue to suffer while their health conditions
tragically deteriorate. An entire population of 1.5 million Gazans,
mostly refugees, suffers from the lack of medicine, food, power and

The siege is grimly affecting the people of Gaza especially the
refugees who are concentrated in small camps. United Nations Relief
and Works Agency (UNRWA) housing projects estimated at $350 million
were halted as Israel will not allow construction materials into Gaza.
Hundred of thousands were eagerly awaiting that project but no hope
and respite was to come. The war has created a zone of perpetual
misery, where refuges are made refuges making a grim life even

The majority of the populations in Gaza are refugees whose number is
estimated to be 1, 200 out of 1.5 million. Over half of the refugees
in Gaza live in eight camps. Most of the people who fled to the Gaza
Strip as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war were from Jaffa, towns
and villages south of Jaffa, and from the Beersheva area in the Negev.

According to UNRWA the refugee camps in the Gaza Strip have one of
the highest population densities in the world. For example, over
80,688 refugees live in Beach camps whose area is less than one square
kilometer. This high population density is reflected in the
overcrowded UNRWA schools and classrooms. More than 2,066 new pupils
registered in the Agency's schools for the year 2004/2005. on average,
81% of the camps houses are connected to sewers and a total area of
paved roads and alleys is 385,000m2.

UNRWA whose existence was to alleviate the burden of refugees is
facing unprecedented strain in fulfilling its obligations due to lack
of fund. PRC is appealing to British Gov. to find resource for UNRWA
to fulfill its vital obligations upon which the people of Gaza are
completely reliant.

Picture - Tents again, 60 years after el nakba February 2009