Our mission of solidarity continues its activities. Today, Welcome to Palestine delegates have visited Baq’a, one of the largest Palestinian Refugee camps located 20 km to the north of Amman, where a huge number of Palestinian refugees live in a very small yet densely populated area of 140 hectares.
Some of these Palestinian refugees residing at Baq’a camp have “refugee” status, others conditions are even more precarious as they are identified as “Displaced”. These Palestinians were forced to be refugees not particularly as a result of the major Zionist operations of expulsion in 1948, but because of the Israeli ethnic cleansing operations in the wake of June 1967 war. The Palestinian civilians were expelled from their homes and lands during the Summer of 1968, and had survived months at the Valley of Jordan River (on the Jordanian side). In 1968, the Palestinians were re-installed in very harsh conditions in the field of Baq’a. However, despite over 40 years of expulsions, refugees in Baq’a are still connected to their homeland. The neibourhoods of Baq’a carry different names of original Palestinian neighborhoods such as Gaza neighborhood, Jerusalem neighbourhood, Nablus district, and district of
Our delegation, Activists in Welcome to Palestine, who spent 24 hours in the camp between Tuesday and Wednesday, have seen how these Palestinian refugees are kept under constant and heavy police surveillance, including the rest of the northern suburbs of the metropolitan area of Amman. This hard reality Palestinian refugees are subjected to should not have continued as they should have been granted their internationally recognized right of return to Palestine. Palestinian youth in the refugee camp have never set foot in Palestine, which is just a few Kilometers away from where they currently live. Those youth constitute the great number of the population of the camp. Besides,the quality of both social and health services are very bad; for example, in such a densely populated camp, there are only 12 doctors and 60 nurses working at three clinics along the camp.
Several entertaining activities were carried out by the Welcome to Palestine Activists throughout their tour in Baq’a refugee camps. They have played with Palestinian refugee children, danced and sang songs of different languages and cultures.
Meeting with Leila Khaled
The activists had the opportunity to meet a highly political Palestinian figure of resistance, Leila Khaled. Leila is now 68 years old. She was four years old when she was expelled from her hometown, Haifa, by the Israeli army in 1948. She was exiled alongside her family.In 1969, Leila Khaled left her job as a teacher in order to join the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine). She participated in aircraft hijacking operations, which globally promoted the Palestinian cause.