Jeromy Corbyn visited the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan today and promised recognition of a Palestinian State under his administration. In a UNHCR refugee camp, Corbyn will not have met any Palestinian refugees who fled the dramatic sectarian war of Syria. Jordan blocks Palestinian refugees from entering its territory … its UNWRA’s problem.
Since the eruption of the brutal conflict in Syria in 2011, more than 2.5 million refugees have fled their homes in search of peace, safety, and normalcy. While a vast majority of these people are seeking refuge in Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, and Egypt, the Zaatari (مخيم الزعتري) refugee camp, a three-square-mile piece of land located in the desolate Jordanian desert, has quickly become a semi-permanent home for tens of thousands of refugees, most originating in the Da’ara Governorate in Syria’s Southwest.
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Located 10 km east of Mafraq and first opened on 28th July 2012, the camp is now the 4thlargest `city’ in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan with over 100,000 inhabitants and new arrivals continuing to flood in each day. Zaatari, which was initially designed to host a maximum of 60,000 inhabitants, is jointly administrated by the Jordanian government and UNHCR, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
The camp is made up of 30,000 shelters and administration buildings, 3 hospitals, 3 schools, and a market-like structure of 3,000 makeshift shops on the so-called `Champs Elysees’, selling a wide range of food, household goods, and clothes.
Approximately 55% of inhabitants are under the age of 18, making the provision of basic education to school-aged children extremely difficult. Although there are several schools on the campsite, the regular attendance of classes is strikingly low. Though aid and educational efforts are genuine and abundant in Zaatari, the stories and lived experiences of these children – and the policy implications of those stories – are often lost in translation.
Ahead of visit to Palestinian refugee camp, British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn says a government under his leadership would recognize a Palestinian state ‘as a full state as part of the United Nations very early on.’
British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is visiting camps for Syrian and Palestinian refugees, said Friday that a government under his leadership would recognize a Palestinian state “very early on.”
“I think there has to be a recognition of the rights of the Palestinian people to their own state, which we as a Labour Party said we would recognize in government as a full state as part of the United Nations,” he said. Such recognition would come “very early on” under a Labour government, he said.
— Sir Stephen R O'Brien (@StephenROBrien) August 17, 2017