Sunday, November 12, 2006

  • Sunday, November 12, 2006
  • Elder of Ziyon
The UN's bloated budget includes a news service of sorts called IRIN whose purpose is to "provide news and analysis about sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia for the humanitarian community."

Evidently, the humanitarian community is very interested in the poor wives of PalArab terrorists and how hard their lives become after their murderous husbands get killed while trying to genocidally destroy all Jews in the Middle East. Even though all IRIN articles start with a disclaimer "This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations" this is disingenuous as they are paid by the UN to make these stories. One has to see the entire story in context, with photos and call-out boxes, to believe it. So here it is.

Click here to enlarge image
© Tom Spender/IRIN

Widowed Palestinian women often find themselves in a desperate situation.

GAZA CITY, 9 Nov 2006 (IRIN) - Palestinian mother-of-11 Aneesa Afana was married to a fighter from the militant Islamic Jihad group until two years ago – when an Israeli missile blew him to bits.

The violence deprived their children of a father and left 40-year-old Aneesa from Tal Zaatar in the northern Gaza Strip facing the task of bringing them all up on her own.

Like many women widowed by the ongoing violence in the Palestinian territories, she faces not just grave financial difficulties but also a battle to stop her children going astray.

“We have problems in my family because I am fighting to control my nine sons. In society here, men control the families much more than women,” she said.

“After I lost my husband I had to take on his responsibility and behave as a man as well as behave as a woman. But my sons are growing up fast. They feel they are already the men of the family and want to take charge of everything.”

Aneesa told IRIN she did not want her sons following in the footsteps of their father and meeting an early and brutal death in battle with Israeli troops.

“I really do not want them to copy their father. The society sees him as a hero. But as a mother I refuse to encourage my sons to die and I will do everything I can to stop it. But I have 11 children – how can I control them all at the same time?”

More than 2,000 women widowed

More than 2,000 women have been widowed during the second intifada [Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation], which began in 2000 and has claimed more than 4,300 Palestinian lives since, according to Nama al-Jidian of the Social Welfare Institution for Martyred Families.

  • More than 2,000 women widowed
  • Half remarry one of husband's relatives
  • Some face having kids taken from them
  • Many forced to work to survive
  • Israel: This is the price of martyrdom
The Israeli government said it was not responsible for the plight of widows whose husbands have been killed fighting Israeli troops. “Israel is not responsible for those who miss their husbands. Everything has a price and anyone wanting to be a martyr must accept the consequences,” said Ameera Arout, director of Arab Press in Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Facing grave hardship, about half of these women remarry within the family of their dead husband, usually to the brother, al-Jidian said. “In many cases the family of the husband puts pressure on the widow to give them her children or to marry another man in the family,” she added.

“This leads to many problems, especially if the man is already married and the first wife refuses. Or perhaps the widow does not want to remarry but the family says they are going to take her children from her, so in the end she gives in.”

In the West Bank, a widow can find herself at the centre of a dispute over land, according to Sihan al-Kirim, a colleague of Nama’s.

“In the West Bank many families have land and the family of the dead man gets worried that they may lose their land if the widow remarries outside the family. So they put a lot of pressure on her [not to marry outside the family],” she said.

Nihad, a 24-year-old mother-of-three from Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, married her husband’s 19-year-old brother after losing her husband two years ago when an Israeli shell landed on his house.

"Thank God my new husband is a good man and works hard to take care of his brother's children as well as of his own,” said Nihad, who has since had two more children.

But Aneesa has remained single, living in a flat in a building occupied by members of her dead husband’s family. “I have not remarried – who wants to take on 11 children? As an unmarried woman, all eyes are on me and my behaviour,” said Aneesa, who was accompanied by a relative from her dead husband’s family when interviewed.

The lack of a breadwinner in her family means she has been forced to go out and find a job in a kindergarten in Jabalia refugee camp, earning about US $100 a month.

Some financial support

However, some financial support is available to Palestinian widows.

Some widows receive money from international donors. Dr Ramadan Tanboura of the Al-Falah Charitable Foundation told IRIN he had distributed about $4,500 to each of 170 families in donations from the United Arab Emirates in August this year.

Those whose husbands were loyal to groups that are members of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) get payments of between US $300 and US $400 a month, depending on how many children they have, said al-Jidian.

The PLO is an umbrella organisation, made up of a number of organisations who all share the same goal of an independent Palestinian state.

Many widows also get payments of about US $150 a month from the governing Palestinian National Authority (PNA), al-Jidian added.

If the dead man was loyal to a militant faction that is not a member of the PLO, then these groups may make a one-off payment of up to about US $5,000 to the bereaved family, widows say.

“People do not really talk about this because in our society it is seen as shameful to give money to the relatives of a dead man. We have a saying that you cannot buy blood with money,” said one Palestinian woman, who insisted on remaining nameless.

The bias, especially in the clearly-staged photograph and the sidebar bullet box, is incredible. (Why is this apparent widow sitting next to a bombed out wall rather than being with her many kids?)

According to this UN organization, the families of PalArabs who try to murder Jews are more needy and more deserving of international money than average Palestinian Arabs are. And notice how they make Israel seem so coldblooded in not wanting to reward the widows of would-be murderers of Israelis.

If a Palestinian woman is a widow of, say, a suspected collarborator with Israel who was blown away by the PA, would any articles be written about her situation in a UN organ? Or even if her husband who was a farmer who gets killed in a clan clash - is there any international money to help her? Of course not. This UN organization is interested in humanizing the terrorist families at the expense of the supposed "vast majority" of peaceful Palestinian Arabs that we are always hearing about.

And even though the UN is a joke, its press has impact - the exact story was reprinted by Reuters as well.

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