Friday, January 02, 2015

02-Jan-15: Attention critics of Israel: Outrage in Palestinian Arab refugee camp as six die by execution

Abdul Hadi [Image Source]
Ambassador Anwar Abdul Hadi, a senior member of the PLO leadership, has just gone public [here] on a startling and potentially explosive disclosure: during the past two weeks, the Palestinian Arabs' sworn enemy executed six Palestinian residents of  a refugee camp in the Nablus area. Stand by for yet another UN Security Council emergency meeting, and furious condemnation of Israel.

You don't see any sign of this in the usual news streams? Wait.

Ah, turns out it's not the Israelis who did it. And oops, sorry; it wasn't actually in Nablus (we made that up) but in the vicinity of Damascus, Syria. The Yarmouk refugee camp, according to the headline. UNRWA, the bizarre Palestinians-only refugee relief agency, has a heavy footprint there, operating "20 elementary schools and eight preparatory schools in the camp and sponsors two women's program centers" but evidently is unable to prevent the execution of residents.

Those executions, reported to be punishment for blasphemy, were inflicted by what Abdul Hadi, the head of the Palestine Liberation Organization bureau in Syria, is calling "militant Islamic groups, imposing application of Islamic law". For the record, and since there is generally a lot of confusion about this, the chairman of the PLO is Mahmoud Abbas, the notorious 'moderate' who is also styled 'president' of the Palestinian Authority, a four-year elected position which he has held throughout the decade since they last managed to have elections.

There appear to be no reports of this at all in English because, well, most of the reporters working the area for the major Western news channels don't speak or read Arabic. And their 'fixers' don't always want them to report on news that fails to advance the Palestinian Arab agenda. The article to which we linked above is in Arabic.

We noticed a tweet from the indispensable Khaled Abu Toameh a short time ago, and went looking online - with the help of Google Translate - for an Arabic news source. This is very hard to do (not). That's probably why no major news source is telling the story. (Actually the search tied us down for about 12 seconds.)

Funny the way news reporting practices look quite different once you decide that for some of the news organizations, what gets published is not necessarily what's news but what's useful.

1 comment:

Dian said...

A few extra pointers.

For a "camp" to be recognized by UNRWA, there must be an agreement between the host government and UNRWA governing use of the camp. UNRWA does not itself run any camps, has no police powers or administrative role, but simply provides services - such as schools and social services - to the camp.

So it is the Syrian authorities, that have not been able to prevent the executions.

This is competely analogous to the situation in Gaza, where the Palestinian Authority has responsbilities that are undermined by Hamas.

I don't doubt that the camp services themselves are directly infiltrated by extremists. But even if they weren't, UNRWA has neither the mandate nor the resources to protect the camp residents.