Thursday, May 31, 2012

Palestinians May Boycott Unicef Over Israel Ties

by Khaled Abu Toameh, Tovah Lazaroff

Contractors Union denounce UN Children’s Fund for taking Israeli offers in bid for construction work in Gaza.
The Palestinians are threatening to boycott the United Nations Children’s Fund after the agency decided to accept offers from Israeli firms to bid for construction work in the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian Contractors Union denounced UNICEF and warned Palestinians against cooperating with Israeli firms.

The head of the union, Osama Kahil, said he received complaints from Palestinian contractors who told him that Israeli firms had asked for their cooperation in carrying out construction work in the Gaza Strip, offering them half of the revenues.

“We contacted the head of UNICEF and held a meeting with her after which we decided to boycott the agency until it backtracks on its decision,” Kahil said. He added that Palestinians were outraged that Israelis, who were “responsible for destroying the Gaza Strip,” were being offered the opportunity to help carry out important projects.

The Contractors Union appealed to the Palestinian Authority to intervene with UNICEF to stop it from “tampering with the blood and rights of our people and their national sentiments.”

Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip threatened to hold protests against UNICEF and to close its offices because of its readiness to permit Israeli companies to take part in its projects. Hamas said it would not allow Israel to carry out any work in the Gaza Strip.

UNICEF spokeswoman Catherine Weibel said that no contracts had been awarded to any firms. She explained that UNICEF Special Representative in the Occupied Palestinian territory Jean Gough had met with the Palestinian Contractors Union on Tuesday.

“The priority and policy of the UNICEF office in the Occupied Palestinian territory is to purchase goods and services from qualified Palestinian manufacturers, authorized dealers and companies. We only buy from other providers when goods are not available,” Gough said.

Weibel explained that the project in question was a desalination plant.

UNICEF’s preference, she said, was to use local suppliers. But if Palestinian supplier could not provide the necessary parts then Israel was the next option.

Khaled Abu Toameh, Tovah Lazaroff


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

1 comment:

salubrius said...

"... Israelis, who were “responsible for destroying the Gaza Strip,”
What an outrageous lie!

That is the "poetic truth" of The Narrative of the Perpetual Palestinian Victimhood." that can't be dented by facts, reason or logic.

For those who will not blind themselves to the actual truth see Karsh, "What Occupation"
You will find that the Arabs benefited handsomely by being liberated in June, 1967. First, in 1948 they had been liberated from 400 years of occupation by colonial Turkey that had turned Palestine into a malarial wasteland from the biblical land of milk and honey as discussed by David Lloyd-George in his 1923 article The Jews and Palestine. You can find it on the Internet courtesy of a group called Ein Shalom.

Professor Karsh shows that after June, 1967 the average income of Arabs in the West Bank went up more than income of Arabs in adjacent Arab states, , the per capita GDP on average went up more also except for those Arab states that were oil producing. The lifespan increased significantly, the infant mortality rate went down significantly, the number of Arab children in school doubled, the literacy rate increased significantly, the number of Arab houses with running water, electricity and gas went way up and is now approaching 97%. Before June, 1967, there were no Arab colleges or universities. Now there are seven. However most of these advances went into decline after the PA took over administration of a major part of the West Bank after OSLO.

See also, George Gilder, "The Economics of Settlement" for the change heading back toward the land of milk and honey, and "The Israel Test".

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