Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh delivers a speech in Gaza City on January 23, 2018 - AFP
CAIRO – 24 July 2018: Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas political leader discussed Tuesday with Nickolay Mladenov, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, efforts exerted to improve the humanitarian situation of Palestinians in Gaza.
The two officials also discussed the Israeli occupation’s violations concerning repeated storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque. Haniyeh called on the UN to intervene and put an end to such actions.
As many as 1,023 Israeli settlers stormed into Al Aqsa Mosque in the morning on Sunday guarded by Israeli forces, an official of the Palestinian Awqaf Ministry said. Eyewitnesses said that the settlers stormed into the mosque from Bab el Magharba and conducted provocative tours in it.
Haniyeh also discussed with Mladenov the crisis of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In January, the U.S. State Department said that Washington would withhold $65 million it had planned to pay the UNRWA, saying it needed to make unspecified reforms.
In a Twitter post on January 2 Trump said that Washington gives the Palestinians "hundreds of millions of dollars a year and get no appreciation or respect.”
On Saturday, the Arab League Assistant Secretary General for Arab and Palestinian Affairs Saeed Abu Ali said that the US suspended most of its share in the budget of the UNRWA, causing a 446-million-dollar deficit.
Palestinian journalist Lama Khater embraces her son before being arrested by Israeli soldiers in Hebron on Tuesday – Social media
During the meeting, Haniyeh condemned Israel’s continuous arrests of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, and handed over to Mladenov a photo showing the moment when the Palestinian journalist and writer Lama Khater was arrested.
Khater was arrested along with 13 Palestinian people in the West Bank, according to Palestinian media reports on Tuesday. Israeli army said in a statement that 14 Palestinians were detained due to their engagement in hostile activities against Israeli people and soldiers.
Improving humanitarian situation
The UN aims to provide 4479 men and women in Gaza with jobs, within the framework of the (DEEP), according to a statement issued by the office of Mladenov, earlier in July.
The Deprived Families Economic Empowerment Program (DEEP) launched by the UN seeks to improve living conditions of socially marginalized Palestinian families.
Amid high unemployment rate in Gaza which exceeds 60 percent, as reported by some statistics, Mladenov’s office stated that the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) will create more than 2,500 short-term jobs in Gaza in 12 months for 2979 people with women being granted 40 percent of the jobs.
The UN program has recently created a plan to provide 1,500 men and women, including people with special needs, with short to medium term jobs. The program will train people to help develop public services, employ sea rescuers and enable 420 fishermen to restore their jobs.
The program will be funded with a total of $3.5 million by the Islamic Development Bank, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and the UNDP.
In a statement, Mladenov affirmed that the UNDP efforts to create jobs are much needed during the current stage.
Earlier in the same month, Mladenov affirmed that the Egyptian government has always been, and still is, a vital and key player in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
He added that the Rafah Border Crossing, which Egypt opens regularly to ease the people’s suffering in Gaza, is considered to be a “lifeline” for Palestinians.
Mladenov said that the United Nations is doing its best to back Egypt’s efforts to reach complete reconciliation among Palestinian factions, stressing that Egypt has exerted a lot of efforts already to reach stability and decrease violence.