Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Information: Hussein Ibish
April 29, 2006 - 11:00pm

The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) has set aside a special emergency fund to collect donations for providing immediate humanitarian aid to the Palestinians. Conditions in the occupied Palestinian territories, particularly in Gaza, have reached a crisis point. The New York Times yesterday attributed that to "the budget deficit in the Palestinian Authority - which has worsened significantly since Israel stopped transferring tax collections, and the United States and the European Union cut off aid after the Hamas government took over - and the inability to get goods into Gaza through the main crossing point at Karni, which the Israelis keep closing whenever there is a security alert."

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/08/world/middleeast/08gaza.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Some of the figures regarding this crisis released by the United Nations and other international organizations include: - A March 2006 World Bank report projected that by the end of 2006 with exisiting conditions of aid cuts, withholdong of tax revenues, and border trade restrictions, average Palestinian personal income would decrease by 30% in real terms, unemployment would increase from the pre-election figure of 23% to about 40%, and poverty levels would climb from 44% last year to 67%.

- Failure to pay 160,000 Palestinian Authority (PA) employee salaries, already 2 months late, leaves them with no means of subsistence and affects a total of 900,000 Palestinians who are dependants of the PA employees.

- A recent internal report by the World Health Organization forecasts "a rapid decline of the public health system towards a possible collapse" and "no access or limited access to preventiveat programs" like immunization for a large part of the population.
- The Palestinian Authority provides 64.5 percent of general health needs, 77 percent of emergency hospital treatment and 76 percent of the needs of women and midwives. It also pays for the treatment in Israel and abroad of many difficult cases like those in pediatric oncology and pediatric heart operations, as well as various cancer and orthopedic treatments .A report by Physicians for Human

Rights/Israel forecasts that "lack of funding for this system will lead to the deaths of thousands of people in the short term and extensive morbidity in the long term. Any donations made to ATFP's Palestinian Humanitarian Funds appeal will strictly follow U.S. Department of Treasury guidelines:

http://www.ustreas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/actions/20060412.shtml

Please make your emergency humanitarian donation today by visiting ATFP's donation page:

http://www.americantaskforce.org/donate.php

Please make sure you indicate on your check or online donation that it is for the 'Palestinian Humanitarian Fund.






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American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017