Palestinian popular committees running the two refugee camps near Sidon are scheduled to hold the first meeting with the new chief of the UN Relief and Works Agency (Unrwa) at the international official’s office in Beirut today.
More than two months since a scheduled meeting between Wolfgang Plaza and the Palestinians failed to take place for organisational reasons, including disagreement over the agenda, a Palestinian source said yesterday mediation had succeeded in melting the ice between the two parties.
But Unrwa’s office in Sidon wasn’t informed about the meeting, said the source. Major disagreements were brewing between the organisation’s main office in the south and its headquarters in Beirut. The date of the meeting was set in a meeting on Thursday between Plaza’s delegate, Huda Samra, who is Unrwa’s information officer, and Palestinian popular committee officers in the Ain al-Hilweh camp.
This preparatory meeting was not coordinated with Sidon’s Unrwa officer Mahmoud Zeidan, as is usual.
The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, speculating that Zeidan, at odds with the committees and several of his own Unrwa subordinates, will not attend today’s meeting.
In December, Plaza reportedly wanted to hold separate meetings with Palestinian officials from the Ain al-Hilweh and Mieh Mieh camps.
The committees insisted on holding a unified meeting, forcing the meeting to be cancelled and triggering angry Palestinians to demonstrate during his visit to the camps.