Sir, – We at the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) welcome your editorial decrying funding cuts for UNRWA, the UN agency providing for the more than five million Palestinian refugees who live both within and outside Palestine (“Palestinian refugees: a time for solidarity”, January 7th.
While recognising that UNRWA’s work is crucial to providing essential basic services to Palestinian refugees, we must note that it is long past time that Palestinians were granted their legally guaranteed and UN-mandated right of return to their homeland.
Rather than being dependent on aid, they should have the same basic rights as all peoples to education, healthcare, employment and the freedom to live in their own homes.
The Palestinian people in Gaza have been demonstrating for this right on a weekly basis since March 2017 with their Great March of Return, in the course of which almost 200 people have been killed by Israeli occupation forces and thousands wounded, many of them with life-changing injuries resulting in amputations or other permanent disabilities.
As they face into their 71st year of dispossession, we must indeed show solidarity with the Palestinian people; and we believe the most effective way to do that is to heed their call for a global campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against the Israeli state until Palestinians enjoy their freedom, justice and equality. – Yours, etc,
FATIN AL TAMIMI,