2016 Activities

Attendees of an Accountability Session Held by AMAN Call for Leaving Martyrs and Wounded Families Files outside Political Disagreements

Attendees of an Accountability Session Held by AMAN Call for Leaving Martyrs and Wounded Families Files outside Political Disagreements

Attendees of the accountability session held in Gaza by the Coalition for Integrity and Accountability-AMAN recommended that the file of families of martyrs and wounded be left outside political disagreements. The session was held in the presence of for Mohammad Judeh Al-Nahhal, Official from the Welfare Association for Families of Martyrs and Wounded (Institution), which is the institution in charge of this issue.  Attendees’ recommendation was in response to the unrelenting demand by families of martyrs and wounded who have been asking for their rights in the open sit-in tent for more than two years. 

The Institution was established to serve all Palestinian fighters regardless of their political affiliation

In his capacity as an official, Mohammad Judeh Al-Nahhal, began his statement by giving a brief background information on the Welfare Association for Families of Martyrs and Wounded by illustrating its goals, governing bodies and legal framework, as well as its mechanisms at work as an institution in charge of caring for martyrs and wounded families since its establishment. As for the mission of the association, Al-Nahhal said it is based on serving and supporting all victims of war who are part of the Palestinian revolution. He added that the Institution is there to honor and strengthen the steadfastness of these individuals and their families, without any discrimination, in order to live a decent life. He pointed out that the Institution exerts unremitting efforts in cooperating with all service providers to overcome obstacles faced by the wounded and martyrs’ families. These service providers include the Ministry of Education and universities who provide grants and exemptions to children of martyrs. Also health insurance is provided to the families. In this regard, Al-Nahhal called on all members of these families to update their data in order to benefit from the health insurance. 

New bank accounts to be opened in November 2016, for families of martyrs who fell in the 2014 Israeli war on Gaza

Al-Nahhal confirmed that his institution worked relentlessly to transfer entitlements of victims of the Israeli wars on Gaza of martyrs’ families and the wounded. He said that unfortunately, the financial crisis weakens the institutions’ ability to transfer entitlements for more than 6000 wounded individuals and 1934 family members of martyrs who fell in the 2014 war on Gaza.  He also said that these families should not have to pay the price for any financial crisis. However, the Institution will continue exert all its efforts to complete transfer of these entitlements. As a matter fact, he mentioned that it had received promises that new accounts will opened for 1934 families of the 2014 war at the beginning of November 2016.
In the same context, Al-Nahhal stated that the institution had previously adopted 170 families since the end of the war. This was based on a decision issued by the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), with condition to give priority to families where the father and mother, or more than one member of the family was lost. In addition, he said that the Institution adopted 6000 of total 12000 individuals wounded during the last war, and continues to diligently work towards providing allocations for all of the wounded and their families.
Al-Nahhal concluded his statement by saying that the Institution is constantly seeking to develop and diversify its services for its beneficiaries despite challenges and obstacles faced caused the constant political bickering. In that regard, the Institution has received a donation from a benefactor to build a sub-headquarter building in Gaza city in addition to offices in the all of the southern governorates, with construction of another building for providing services which includes a clinic for treating the wounded; as well as two halls for families of martyrs and the wounded to use for wedding parties. Moreover, Al-Nahhal indicated that the Institution has requested from the Ministry of Public Works and Housing (MoPWH) to provide it with a piece of land for the implementation of this project. However, the MoPWH informed the institution that it had addressed the Palestinian Land Authority to investigate the possibility of providing a piece of land, but had not received any response in that regard.

The effects of war and various responses of those affected

Zareef Al-Gharrah, a young man who was injured during the last war on Gaza works as the coordinator for the Martyrs and Injured Committees. In his testimony during the session, he commended the Welfare Association for Families of the Martyrs and Wounded in the role it plays in caring for and supporting those injured during the war.  Speaking from personal experience, Al-Gharrah said that the Institution granted him the opportunity to overcome his injuries and to have a family by providing him with the necessary support to excel at work as a volunteer at many organizations, a community activist, and a member of the Society of the Physically Handicapped People in the Gaza Strip. Al-Gharrah called on the Institution to support families like his by pressuring the PLO to send the full entitlements for them. Furthermore, he asked that the Institution consolidate its efforts with other service institutions in order to improve the quality of service provided to the wounded.
On a sad note, Abdallh Abu-Harbeed, and Kamal Sukar are two individuals who were permanently maimed as a result of the wars on Gaza. These two people as many others have lost their limbs hence are quadriplegics. This of course prevents them and their likes to work in any trade or profession, which negatively impacts their ability to continue to live a dignified life. This is partially due to being deprived of their entitlement as well as their inability to earn a living on their own. With that said, Abu-Harbeed, and Sukar as well as many others live on hope that is hanging on the walls of the open tend initiated by them. They keep calling on the Institution to provide an assurance to open accounts for them in November 2016 same as has been promised for other martyrs and wounded family members.

Efforts to protect files of the martyrs and wounded from ramifications of the internal division and political disagreements

At the end of the session, participants agreed that it is important for the Welfare Association for Families of Martyrs and Wounded (Institution) seeking to sponsor all families of martyrs and wounded in order to remain committed to its mission by dealing with their file objectively and to protect it from ramifications of the internal political division.  AL-Nahhal stressed that the Institution is in need of serious support from all parties in order for it to continue its work.  Based on the above, participants agreed with AMAN’s suggestion, which is to hold an open debate at a high level with political parties, national institutions, and human rights institutions as well as other NGOs; with the aim of forming a pressure group to ensure protection of families of martyrs and the wounded, and to keep the issue away from political disagreements.

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