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tv   Inside Story 2018 Ep 19  Al Jazeera  January 20, 2018 3:32am-4:01am +03

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if you. take over the war office or if you think you're thinking i think for me why did you forget my story no i don't i didn't for the very rich are not eating until the pope francis has met peru's president petro public christian skiis he wraps up his south american tour earlier the pope called for the protection of indigenous people while visiting the heart of peruse the forests the pope condemned the exploitation of timber gas and gold in the area he said native peruvians have never been more threatened and urged the government to recognize their culture turkey is mobilizing thousands of free syrian army rebels on its border with syria it's part of a military operation threatened against syrian kodesh fighters known as the y. p.g. based in the town of a fleeing the army has intensified shelling enough seen in recent days and says a ground assault could happen soon lebanese army soldiers have found the bodies of nine syrian refugees who froze to death trying to cross the border into lebanon
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they died during a snowstorm in a mountainous area near the border crossing patrols are looking for others caught in the storm and arrested two syrians on people smuggling charges and those are the headlines the news continues here on al-jazeera after inside story life and. the u.s. withhold aid for palestinian refugees the trumpet ministration says the u.n. agency responsible for the money needs reform palestinians say they are being punished for defying the u.s. over jerusalem so with humanitarian aid being used for political blackmail this is
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inside story. welcome to the program. or to give it its full title the united nations relief and works agency for palestine refugees is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions from un members the u.s. is the single largest donor and gave more than three hundred fifty million dollars last year its first installment for two thousand and eighteen was due this month but this week the trumpet ministration cut in half the one hundred twenty five million dollars it had pledged in addition it suspended forty five million dollars in emergency food aid it promised in december this all follows president trump's decision to recognize jerusalem as the capital of israel and his threats to cut aid unless palestinian leaders agree to resume talks imraan khan has more from the gaza
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strip. this house is typical of many in the gaza strip now currently there's electricity blackouts they get like steve blackouts are about twelve hours a day now the u.s. is withholding food aid but what does that actually mean supply things like this sacks of flour rice it's the basics that they supply now they only supply them about once every three months so a sack of flour about this big needs to last a family of nine for that long so there's already a cute shortages. pusher we are worried because this is the only help we have to be able to live we have no choice where else are we supposed to get food from we can't buy it we can't work there is no where if they decrease the aid what shall we do there's about two million people in the gaza strip now about one point one million of those people rely on food aid in some way or another is people like
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these that are going to be affected the most now the u.s. president has said that he wants changes to the way under operate she also wants the international community to step up and donate a lot more aid he said that the u.s. is very generous but other countries need to step up whether by withholding it is actually taking food away from people like these. is now facing its worst financial crisis and a funding shortfall will have major implications for palestinian refugees in the middle east the agency operates in five areas jordan lebanon syria the gaza strip and the occupied west bank including east jerusalem almost six million registered refugees receive basic and social services that rely heavily on outside funding and has set up seven hundred two schools in the region with more than five hundred thousand students half of them girls and under what doctors see nine million patients in one hundred forty three primary health clinics every year.
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let's bring in our panel from ramallah i'm at her jazzy palestine's assistant minister of foreign affairs from our man in jordan karl schembri a regional spokesman for the norwegian refugee council and from washington d.c. graham bannerman former middle east analyst at the state department welcome to you all now mark i want to start with you what is the way forward now for palestinian leadership well the way forward is clear for the palestinian leadership it is. continuing on with believing and investing in the peace process that is based on international legitimacy on international law on the u.n. resolutions and there will be long terms of reference as we're continuing to defend the palestinian people's rights at all fronts including the international level
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by using peaceful and legitimate tools caro i want to ask you about the humanitarian impact tell us about the immediate effects on the ground from a decision like this. we are we are extremely concerned that the impact of this decision is going to be spread felt across the region from gaza the west bank to lebanon jordan and syria were millions up to five million palestinian refugees depend on. they is the only lifeline for these families a half a million children across the region go to schools i was just in touch with my colleagues in lebanon and they were and were just refugee camp they were telling me
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about the mother of five children she had the c. section which saved her life because i could provide her the medical services to have it she couldn't afford it otherwise she has five children going to school at schools and they now face the prospect of the bleak prospect of having no school to go to the very sheltered housing that refugees get across the region are largely houses flats and shelters that have been built for palestinian refugees the impact is completely unthinkable what is happening in zero four on what to start the year with half of its budget withheld by the us administration it's just unthinkable it's unheard of and what will our our appeal urgent appeal is for the u.s. administration to reconsider and reverse its decisions but also to other international donors to step in and help us in the refugees in this difficult
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moment graham is this a case of palestine and palestinian leaders being punished for pushing back against a u.s. president trying to decision to recognize drusilla as the capital of israel. no i think this is the administration which is totally unconventional as saying that this process has not moved forward in a quarter century it needs to move forward and we have an agenda to do that the genda reflects what i think is some of the views of most zealous supporters of israel is that jerusalem is always going to israel is capital let's take that off the table clooney don't need to go shit there the palestinian refugees are not going to go back to israel and unruh only perpetuates this situation and has made it worse over the years by the growing numbers of palestinians so let's force them to address that issue too and this is all necessary from their perspective in order to address the peace process so that the other issues like border security and sovereignty can be addressed in the negotiations graham what other issues is the
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trumpet ministration trying to get whether guarantees they trying to get from either or from palestinian leadership on much of that looking for guarantees i think they see the process a statement and it's being held up by issues i think my own view is my personal view which is different is that the peace process has been stagnant since one thousand nine hundred six because in the before ninety six when the peace process move forward bring in somebody nine or madrid or oslo what happened was there was always a confrontation between the united states and israel in public because these americans are the only ones they can convince the israelis to make concessions that otherwise they don't think possible after ninety six the united states decided not to do that we want to reassure the israelis we want to make sure they're comfortable so they don't so we don't force them to make hard decisions we comfort them into making the decisions that are necessary that hasn't worked in the last twenty some years and i think but the trumpet ministration is changing that game plan and saying no we have
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a way to go forward it's very much like the more zillah supporters of israel want to implement a model what is your response what graham the saying and also do you see this is a form of political blackmail by the trungpa ministration. well our response was very clear i mean given that this administration has completely adopted and mirrored the israeli positions and taking off. very important and crucial issues to the palestinian people of the table which is not for it to take off the table or to put on the table for that matter. response of the leadership was very clear that the u.s. is no more qualified to play any role in this peace process and the palestinians will not listen to any order or abide by any peace plan that the u.s. will be imposing which it does not have the issue of jerusalem or or the issue of a few jews in it because these are the most important issues of the palestinian
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peoples and there is no plan neither the leadership lord and if you should future leadership to ignore these issues or put them off the table as the trumpet minister is trying to do and as such we are trying to adopt the measures along with other international partners to relaunch peace process that is in line with what has been agreed on upon which the basis of this process responses has been launched including. the issue of jerusalem of course and the rights of the few g.'s as explained in one thousand four m.r. i was in ramallah in the occupied west bank when this was first hinted at on january second and we went to refugee camps we went to a clinic that was helping refugees and they were saying we don't have any other outlet we have no other place we can go where we can get medical aid where we can
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get the attention that we need but they were also expressing to me a frustration with the palestinian leadership as well saying that they didn't believe they were doing enough and what is your response to the palestinians on the ground there well it's fully understandable that people are frustrated. we have gauged in this peace process along with our partners one of which was the american administration which has been a major player in this peace process and at the end you were faced by by the grim reality that this current administration has dropped everything that we were promising a lot of people with including living in peace and prosperity in their own land with knock a patient in their land now that is understandable but but that should not make us lose hope or focus and the palestinian people continue to stand by their leadership in the steps that it will be taking in the future as we move forward in defense of
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their rights now yes the reality will be will be difficult and unfortunately the u.s. administration took the decision to punish those who are most vulnerable amongst the palestinian population and by the way owner is neither linked or related to the palestinian government this is an institution that was established without the presence of the palestinian people it was established as a responsibility by the international community including the u.s. which had the responsibility to respect and implement certain international resolutions and those those promises has been kept within the this institution which has been has proved to be reliable responsible and an honest institution unfortunately this decision is under evelyn with all this served under the situation it will contribute further to instability in the region and it will
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target only those who are the most wonderful and we nor all we know the consequences of such a step karo our course is appealing for funds urgently belgium this week announced that they were pledging i believe twenty. three million dollars to unruh what do you expect other international players to step up now while we do international donors to step in the u.s. has left this massive shortfall but let me also remind our viewers here that the oil well has been actually relieving is that as the occupying power of its responsibility towards the refugees it is ultimately is there together with the government of lebanon and jordan and inside syria who are taking care of refugees outside of is that and palestine ultimately it is there has been getting these services for people on there it's a responsibility according to international humanitarian law so at the end of the
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day this this measure punishes the most vulnerable as the previous speaker said that part banishes the ones who are this process who are stateless who have nowhere else to go nowhere to to resort to and terms of services but it is also going to have a direct impact on is there and the other countries surrounding countries that are hosting the palestinian refugees it is a number one center is that this shortfall discovered immediately other international donors we urge them to come in we urge the american administration this is one of the most despicable ways of politicizing aid of the private those who need that aid so desperately just to make a political point for which those very victims and this is actually blaming the victims have no say and they have no say in whether the palestinian leadership goes or not back to the negotiating table they are the ones who are the victims of this
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decade's long festering wound which is the is their lives are lost in question graham since the beginning almost of the trumpet administration there has been seemingly this disconnect between the white house and the state department contradictory messages on so many vital diplomatic issues do you believe that this disconnect is causing more difficulties when it comes to the palestinian issue. oh i think the disconnect is real because i think the tropic ministration. is trying to break the mold of how we've done things and having been a state department person we we have a way we do things of state department we have a way things are done but all of a sudden they're saying no we're not going to do it that way we're going to do things differently and this is very disturbing you can see it in the state department's self feels it's under siege it doesn't feel as if it is affective there demoralized and this is unfortunate because in the end if you're going to be a united states play a role in international affairs the state department has to be part of the role
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through art and the ministration has to take the lead rather than disagreeing with them may i say one thing about i think what is has been lost for decades is i think i agree with the previous speaker in that it is that the problem was not that the palestinians left their homes when the fighting occurred it independence for israel but then that is really is did not let them return returning to your home after the battle is over is guaranteed under international law and therefore the international community created under a to solve the problems as they couldn't go home and and the repechage ration of has perpetuated that issue out there so from the israeli perspective it's long is under exist as long as the palestinians are kept in camps and under this refugee status the palestinian refugee problem will all of them and therefore they need to get rid of i think the tragedy is as everybody has pointed out is the people who suffer are the palestinian refugees and their and their children and their
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grandchildren it is a terrible situation but under itself is just a perpetuation of a bad situation i'm on what's your response what graham just said and also what reason will support at this point this palestine have been standing up to the u.s. . well. certainly the situation with the current administration is extremely unpredictable and the way decisions are made out of divorcing with the kates long policies that has been. implemented including in relation to another one unfortunately this is certainly rivaling the situation and leading to two sudden changes which are most of the time. interrupting and violent in a way. in addition to that in relation to the. perpetuation of the problem was the failure of the international community and on top of them
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those who aided and abetted the israeli colonial enterprise in palestine and not allowed for that a few g.'s to to return back to their homes which is a norm that is respected everywhere in the war on the basis that this will demographically change the reality in israel which is if you wish a very racist law sion because they are the land owners they had nothing to do with this colonial enterprise that has been implemented and decided on elsewhere not by the palestinian people who were not consulted unfortunately and was decided by the un and the us. and then the big nations were involved in this defense since the beginning and as such or was was was in no way paying conscience money to those who suffered from from this colonial enterprise
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without thinking of their fate and not not really helping them in a proper way to to return to their homes and to live their normal lives these are people who owned lands who own homes will live normal life and that nothing to do. with any kind of feuds out on the ward and they paid a very heavy price for something that was plotted and implemented somewhere else and this is exactly why all of you are continues to be crucial and important simply because the rights of that a few jews are not only aid and. paying for for for for their education and health etc but it's also continuing to do to preserve the collective identity of that if you do which is an important one and political in relation to any political aspirations it's reflected by the palestinian government under the present as of the palestinian people and the law has nothing to do with
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that as such they cannot be punished or tormented. the way they are bullied now because of decisions that are taking at the political level and and the least to say this is vindictive and not not going to serve any purpose except under avoiding the situation karl i'd like you to guide our viewers a little bit more through how this impacts palestinians and refugees and not just their butt but also in places like lebanon and jordan where there are so many palestinian refugees as you said the palestinian refugees are scattered around lebanon jordan and syria let's not forget an active war zone where by standing refugees who have been living there are caught either on their siege they're caught in the crossfire different militias the government forces and they are the only
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number one service provider for these people the one lifeline that they have is called on the wall and this is what is their attack here this is the number one there is nobody not the norwegian refugee council nor any other agency humanitarian organization out there that. because the pieces deliver the extent of the services that their livers for the palestinians is the only agency that provides them from food aid to health services to education to shelter anything that they they need they've already been suffering their massive cuts and the last years of budgets have been going down there are too many crises in the city huge and this is just comes on top of all that and it's it's really going to spell disaster if that shortfall is not covered i seen with my own eyes the the harsh conditions palestinians live in and lebanese camps and palestinian camps in lebanon syrians palestinians in syria. we've all seen the images coming out of yarmouk camp caught
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between different fighting groups. forces nobody else is delivering services but on the one we as a norwegian refugee council worked very closely with enron in schools where we do psychosocial support for example in gaza where our children have been living for. there are a siege for for more than a decade now and multiple conflicts multiple wars traumatized completely from otherwise there's a kind of services we're offering because our offer is the space where we can work with them we work with and the west bank with biased indians whose houses are being demolished by the israeli occupation all the time is providing them basic services we provide legal services for those people these are all over so what we're really talking vast vast. spectrum of services and people across the board that are going to be affected here and the the
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earlier the shortfall discovered the more that the crisis can be averted one other thing if a crisis happens as we've seen multiple times especially in the gaza strip which tends to be prone to a lot of the israeli military. aggressions that or do i again is the number one agency that steps in order one has to be in the building the house is destroyed and the last one in two thousand and fourteen there are still people out there living in tents because they they haven't the being enough funding and the process has been has been very slow on what has been the building that houses we've been having them again with legally in a sense they need that ownership of the of the houses if if that is an emergency right now there would be nobody to pick up the pieces graham i'm going to leave you with the last word here very quickly is there any chance from your vantage point that the trumpet ministration changes their mind on this is always
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a chance with the trouble stray sure that they will change their mind but i think this fits their policy goals and objectives for the peace process they want to get on to the other issues and want to discuss them and they think they can resolve it i think it's not going to work who they want but they've done things that i never thought were possible in the past i thought were on an unacceptable in the past but they still don't i'm gentlemen thank you very much for your time thanks to all our guests as jazzy karl schembri and graeme bannerman and thank you too for watching you can see the program again any time by visiting our website al-jazeera dot com and for further discussion go to our facebook page that's facebook dot com forward slash a.j. inside story you can also join the conversation on twitter our handle is at a.j. inside story for me. and the whole team here five for now. i.
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