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UAE providing generous assistance to Palestinians

posted on 20/09/2002: 796 views

The UAE is providing aid to the Palestinian civilians in the Palestinian occupied territories through four or five channels, Saleem Abu Sultan, Palestinian Consul General in Dubai, told "Gulf News” in an exclusive interview last Thursday. He praised the role of the ruling family of the UAE and especially the President His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan for financially helping not only the Palestinians but also Muslims around the world. He said: "The President feels the pain of the Islamic and the Arab world truly and deals with each problem in a way as if he himself is suffering and this has made his people follow in his footsteps.

"In Dubai also we find the ruling family like His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance and Industry and General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Minister of Defence have made their own associations not only to help the Palestinians but any other Arab or Islamic country." Before going into the details of the aid part he said it is important to understand why providing food to a large number of people has become one of the biggest problems in the Occupied Territories.

He stated: "We have small farms. The Israelis have destroyed these farms. Each farm is for 30 families and as you know the Palestinian families consist of a large number of people with 10 children or so. "But the Israeli army comes and destroys all the trees, vines and even the poultry. Thus the people are in a very bad shape. The Palestinian National Authority tries to give them some help but they cannot do much as they do not have enough. "We depend on the help of the other countries.

Though situation is bad our people are determined to face difficulties they have been facing since 1948." Speaking about the various ways of sending aid to the Palestinians through the consulate he said they have a specific committee to carry out the job. The committee sends aid to a large number of people in the Occupied Territories. He maintained: "Since Intifada i.e. September 28,2000, I established one committee to support our people. Now through only our committee, i.e., the Intifada Support Committee in Dubai, of which I am also a member, we have taken charge of 4,200 families in Gaza and the West Bank. "We are sending a monthly amount of Dh 520($150) to each family, which can help them get basic necessities such as tea and bread." Not only that, but the consul general added they have involved many others in this noble cause. Thus the Palestinians are not only sent food, money but medicines too. He said: "We have also requested about 2,600 people in the universities to pay for the fees of the Palestinian students because their families cannot pay for them. At the moment we are helping 2,060 university students. "We have also sent aid in the form of medicines. This donation alone is from the Consulate of Dubai. I think other Palestinian missions around the world are also doing the same to help our people."

Speaking of the role of the Palestinian foreign missions, he said these missions abroad have to work hard wherever they are but they are trying to help in one way or another. He stated: "The Palestinian diplomats must consider themselves to be in the middle of a battlefield with their families and people. So they must do whatever they can to alleviate the sufferings of their people and I think we (the diplomats) have done something for our people."

Praising the role of the UAE Government once again he said the government and the Red Crescent Society of Dubai is sending millions of dollars in aid and medicines. He said: "The UAE has always stood behind the cause of the Palestinians. They send money and medicines through their own channels. They have constructed Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Ramallah and we also have a Sheikh Zayed city in Gaza, named after the gracious leader of the UAE." (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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