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January 05, 2014

Reuters, Garbage and Shuafat

Reuters Browning shuafat garbage.JPG

The shortcomings in Noah Browning's Dec. 20, 2013 article ("In bleak Arab hinterland, hints of Jerusalem's partition") are piling up.

Browning reported that Shuafat residents:

pay municipal taxes which bring some health care and insurance benefits, but enjoy few city services, which means locals must burn their trash and dig their own sewers.

He does not bother to inform readers, however, that the municipality and UNRWA have an agreement in which the UN refugee organization provides services to the Shuafat refugee camp, and that UNRWA recently suspended these services due to a labor dispute. Ha'aretz's Nir Hasson reported:

A month-long strike by employees of a United Nations refugee agency has resulted in pileups of garbage and clogged sewers in the Shoafat refugee camp in Jerusalem and left some 51,000 Palestinian children out of school.

The work stoppage by UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, has also closed down dozens of health clinics in the West Bank.

The Shoafat refugee camp is part of the Jerusalem municipality, which is responsible for its basic services. The camp is located on the Palestinian side of the separation barrier, however, where the municipality, like all other Israeli service providers, does not operate. According to long-held understandings between UNRWA and the municipality, the UN agency collects the trash in the camp and provides some of the education and health care services for the camp residents.

Since a labor dispute erupted between the agency and its workers a month ago, about 3,000 children in the camp have had no school, UN health clinics have closed and trash collection has ceased. Residents have set fire to piles causing significant air pollution and a stench throughout the camp.

This post was amended on Jan. 6 to reflect the fact that, according to Nir Hasson in Ha'aretz, UNRWA provides services to the Shuafat refugee camp, and not necessarily all Arab neighborhoods within the municipality but beyond the barrier.

Update, Jan. 12: This posted was further edited. See CAMERA Clarifies About Reuters, Shuafat

Posted by TS at January 5, 2014 03:18 AM


Excellent catches. Posted to my FB wall.

Posted by: Sarah at January 6, 2014 08:54 AM

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