Israel allows $13.5 million into Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Tani Goldstein - February 25, 2011 - 1:00am

Israeli authorities – the Bank of Israel and security forces – approved and facilitated the transfer of $13.5 million in cash to the Gaza Strip through the Erez crossing on Wednesday, just several hours before a Grad rocket attack on the southern city of Beersheba, Ynet has learned. The money was transferred from a bank account of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in the Bank of Palestine in Ramallah to the organization's account in the same bank in Gaza in order to pay the salaries of UNRWA employees in the Strip.

Luxembourg FM visits Gaza, calls for ending Israeli blockade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 25, 2011 - 1:00am

Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Assleborn visited the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Friday and called on Israel to lift a tight blockade that had been imposed on the enclave for more than three years. Assleborn, who is also a deputy prime minister of Luxembourg, arrived in the Gaza Strip earlier on Friday, from Israel, for a several-hour visit in the enclave. "My message to Israel is very clear. If you like your children please like and love the children in Gaza and give them a possibility to live under better and normal conditions," Assleborn told a new briefing in Gaza.

UN says Gaza unemployment rate at 45%
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 11, 2011 - 1:00am

The unemployment rate in Gaza has continued to climb in 2011, reaching 45.4%, UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness told reporters in Gaza City on Wednesday. At a news conference for the UN Relief and Works Agency, Gunness warned that the increasing unemployment was a sign of a hugely fragile Gaza economy, which he described as on the "brink of collapse." Israel's continued siege on the coastal enclave, Gunness warned, would push the economy over the edge.

UN director in Gaza quits for new post
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Harriet Sherwood - January 17, 2011 - 1:00am

John Ging, the high-profile director of the UN relief agency in Gaza, is to quit his current post to take up a senior UN job in New York. Ging, 45, who has worked in Gaza since 2006, has been an enthusiastic and effective advocate for the rights of the Gazan population and a vocal critic of Israeli government policy. He has been the target of assassination attempts and death threats in Gaza, and Islamist opponents have attacked projects he has promoted.

Israel allows Gaza to add flowers to farm exports
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alternet
December 8, 2010 - 1:00am

Israel has allowed the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip to export flowers through Israeli territory, in addition to strawberries it permitted earlier, officials said on Wednesday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said in a statement Israel's security cabinet had approved an "additional easing of restrictions to permit and expansion of commercial exports from the Gaza Strip," without giving details.

Aid groups: Plight of Gaza civilians still dire
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Diaa Hadid - November 30, 2010 - 1:00am

Business and construction in the Gaza Strip remain stifled half a year after Israel announced it would ease its three-year-old blockade of the needy, war-ravaged Palestinian territory, a report by several aid groups said Tuesday. The groups accused Israel of ducking promises to ease the blockade's effects on civilians, a pledge it made under pressure after a deadly Israeli commando raid in May on an international flotilla protesting the restrictions. The report said Israel is allowing in more food and some building materials but is dragging its feet on major construction projects.

Palestine aid models must change
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Kieron Monks - November 19, 2010 - 1:00am

"Peace Starts Here" is the slogan adopted by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to promote its work in the Palestinian territories. But why does peace "start here"? Why not 60 years ago when UNRWA began its work with Palestinian refugees? Or 60 years in the future, when we will still be debating the same problems if the aid models do not change.

Middle East peace starts with development
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Chris Gunness - (Opinion) November 16, 2010 - 1:00am

"Peace Starts Here" is more than a slogan. It raises challenging questions about peace itself at a time when the very notion of a just and durable peace is under threat and when the Middle East peace process needs all the support it can get from us, the humanitarian actors working on the ground.

UNRWA Strike Closes Schools, Clinics in West Bank Camps
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by David Miller - November 16, 2010 - 1:00am

Garbage piles up, too, as labor action enters its second month; dispute gets personal Schools and clinics are shuttered, and garbage has been piling up on streets across the West Bank’s 19 refugee camps, as some 5,000 striking employees of the United Nations Works and Relief Agency (UNRWA) have brought critical public services to a halt in a pay dispute.

UN Gaza leaders given submachine guns for protection 'against Hamas'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - November 5, 2010 - 12:00am

The defense establishment has taken the unusual step of granting the United Nations Relief and Works Agency approval to take four weapons into Gaza. The weapons, submachine guns, are to serve the security detail guarding the heads of the agency in Gaza. The request to bring in the weapons was made three years ago and approved last week. The director of UNRWA's activities in Gaza, John Ging, said on his website that his life is in constant danger and he needs more suitable protection than the handguns his bodyguards had been carrying.

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