Shu’afat Refugee Camp has the dubious privilege of being the only UN-run Palestinian refugee camp that lies within the boundaries that the Israeli occupation authorities unilaterally drew inside the West Bank, in 1968, for an expanded Municipality of Jerusalem. It is home to some 22,000 Palestinians.
Over the past two weeks, the camp has been the scene of repeated raids by the Israeli security forces, who over this period have reportedly arrested some 92 camp residents.
Maan News has a good round-up of the situation in Shu’afat RC, here.
Israeli officials claim endlessly that under their rule, Jerusalem is “united” and a wonderful place for all its residents. But as the Maan reporter notes,
- The camp is not connected to a public sewage system. The pot-holed streets and the state of general disrepair indicate a lack of municipal services….
This piece of reportage gives some strong indications that camp residents have a pretty well-organized “committee against the wall and settlements”, led by someone identified only as “Al-Munasiq” (the co-ordinator).
Regarding the Wall, just look at the red (Wall) line on this map from Ir Amim, to see how the Wall’s designers pushed a huge bulge in the Wall spreading west, so that though Shu’afat camp is part of the Jerusalem Municipality (the blue line), still they have been pushed outside the Apartheid Wall.
Ir Amim also notes here that, Shu’afat camp,
- has the distinction of being the only location where the three main issues at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian overlap: refugees, security, and Jerusalem.
Well, they should add to that, borders, as well!
Also of significance from the Maan report:
- All of the camp’s approximately 22,000 residents hold Israeli IDs [the ones that were given to all Jerusalem residents, though they do not confer citizenship], but the wall’s boundaries have “killed daily life,” [Al-Munasiq] said. The camp lacks schools, has no hospitals. Employment is scarce and poverty is on the rise. UNWRA says overcrowding in the camp is a significant issue.
“We can’t even bury our people here,” Al-Munasiq said. “They wanted to teach us a lesson but, thankfully, that lesson has not been learned.”