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The Demolition of Homes in Rafah: Possible Solutions. August 27, 2003.

27-08-2003 00:00

The IOF has destroyed more homes in Rafah than any other place in the OPT during the current Intifada.
Both the PA, through the Ministry of Housing, and the UNRWA are responsible for aid to the victims of house demolitions; the latter for the refugees.
There are programs to aid the victims, but there are also problems in regard to the type of service provided and difficulties for non-refugee victims.
The unit invited the responsible officials of the PA and UNRWA to meet with the victims in Rafah.
As a follow-up to the meeting, the Center sent letters to the two parties urging the Ministry to work on the problem of the non-refugee victims and to the UNRWA regarding some cases.
The issue was raised in the local mainstream media, including TV, and a special booklet of the proceeds was developed and distributed.
Several minor problems of the victims were resolved.
No.
of participants 98 Key Speakers: Mr.
Aqeel Abu Shamaleh, director of the UNRWA Social Services Department.
Mr.
Nabeel Tarazi, director general of the housing development department, the Ministry of Housing.
Mr.
Izat Abu Al Kheer, Rafah Governorate.
Summary of issues raised by the guest speakers: The statistics reveal that the IOF demolished more houses in Rafah than in any place in the OPT.
UNRWA is responsible for the relief of refugees and bound by its mandate.
The PA is responsible for helping the non-refugee victims.
There is a problem in finding appropriate land to build alternative houses for the victims.
UNRWA sought the help of the PA in this matter and additional land was found to implement some relief housing project by international funding.
UNRWA and the Ministry of Housing face problems in raising sufficient funds to help all the victims.
However, UNRWA has achieved good results and expects to have rebuilt homes for half of the victims within a few months.
In addition to building homes, the two parties provided other relief services for the victims, such as rental tuitions, furniture and financial aid.
It is expected that the problem will increase in time as the IOF continue the demolition of homes in Rafah on a regular basis.
Problems and concerns of the victims can be dealt with in many ways.
The doors are open to hear discussion.
Both the PA and the UNRWA provide relief aid and but do not compensate victims.
Summary of answers given by the public: The participants appreciate the fast help of the UNRWA but are concerned by the PA's performance since they help only the homes that were partially destroyed.
There is a significant percentage of non-refugee victims who need the help of the PA.
The participants raised some reservations regarding the housing conditions in the relief housing units built by the UNRWA.
Part of the victims did not receive the relief aid as the others.
They claimed their right in receiving them.
The victims should be informed of the plans of the UNRWA and the Ministry before they are executed.
They elected a committee to represent them and take care of their demands.
Some of the victims own land and can build homes on it, The Ministry should assist them in this.
The process of re-housing the victims is going slowly.
The different parties are called to do more efforts to help them as fast as possible.
Planned and undertaken follow-up of issues raised:
The Legal Aid unit at the Center sent letters to the two parties urging the Ministry to work on the problem of the non-refugee victims and to UNRWA regarding some cases.
The issue was raised in the local mainstream media, including TV, and a special booklet of the proceeds was developed and distributed.
Several problems of the victims were resolved during the meeting and afterwards through the follow up process.
Summary of evaluation forms of participants and speakers:
The participants expressed their appreciation of the Center's initiative to raise these complicated problems.
And meet with the officials for a long time.
The evaluation forms reflected positive assessment of the meeting from the part of both the Participants and the guest speakers, including the theme, place and timing of the meeting were appropriate and the results sound.

Tags / #housing