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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Qatar unveils new $3mn grant for Palestinian research studies


Palestinians have been heavily censored by social media outlets.

The Qatar Fund for Development [QFFD] renewed a $3 million grant agreement on Sunday with the Institute for Palestine Studies Project [IPS] to further inform the Arab and international community about the realities of the Palestinian cause.

“We sought to support the educational system and enhance educational opportunities for Palestinians at inside and abroad…especially under the difficult circumstances that the Palestinians people are going through,” said QFFD’s Director General Khalifa bin Jassim Al Kuwari.

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QFFD added that the agreement, extended for an additional three years, aims to support its work in advocating for the right of Palestinians “and defend their identity, which is a necessary addition to the research sector in Palestinian affairs”.

Al Kuwari said the renewal comes as part of Qatar’s efforts “to provide to the institute to support its research, publishing and media activities since 1996”.

The first grant was awarded to the IPS five years ago and helps the centre continue to serve the Palestinian cause through research, publications and awareness.

Established in 1963, the IPS is a non-profit, independent research institution and was the first of its kind in the Arab world. It was created to present the deep-rooted history of Palestine amid the Israeli occupation, expulsion of Palestinians and erasure of its culture.

Through its research and publications, it raises Palestinian voices as Israel attempts to dominate the narrative over the illegal occupation of the country.

More recently during the 11-day Israeli bombardment of the besieged Gaza strip in May, Palestinians on social media were heavily censored while attempting to expose Israel’s war crimes and forced displacements.

Internal Facebook documents shared with ABC News on Friday revealed that several employees at the social media giant were questioning restrictions on prominent Palestinian activist and writer Mohammed El-Kurd’s Instagram account.

Titled “Concerns with added restrictions/demotions on content pertaining to Palestine”, the documents pointed to apparent censorship during the indiscriminate bombing of the Palestinian city.

ABC said the documents were presented to the US Securities and Exchange Commission by Facebook whistleblower and former employee Frances Haugen and handed to Congress.

Employees were unable to identify the reason behind the limitation of El-Kurd’s online reach.

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