Message from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Please see the press release below and write/telephone your MP and contact the media about the meetings of donors and the Quartet this Friday. Please make the following points:
* Financial support alone is completely insufficient. A political solution must be found that delivers justice for Palestinians. The Israeli government is violating international law with impunity and must end its illegal occupation.
* Israel is continuing to build settlements after Annapolis and its policies, including checkpoints, Israel-only roads and the Apartheid Wall, are creating bantustans in the West Bank and strangling the Palestinian economy. Its illegal blockade on Gaza has created an horrific humanitarian crisis.
* Donors have previously funded vital infrastructure including schools and medical facilities that have subsequently been destroyed by the Israeli government. Surely the solution is not to appeal for more funding but for the international community to ensure that the Israeli government is brought to task for this destruction.
* Donors must show political will and bring pressure to bear on the Israeli government.
Press release: Meetings of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee and the Quartet in London Friday 2 May: donors risk funding the demise of the Palestinian state
Date: 30 April 2008
Two important meetings will take place in London on Friday 2 May to discuss future help to the Palestinians: the forum of donor nations: the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, chaired by Norway, and a meeting of senior Quartet representatives, including the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the Quartet special envoy Tony Blair.
These meetings come at a time of an unprecedented deterioration in living conditions in Gaza and the West Bank . This week the World Bank released a report which states that Gaza ‘s economy recorded zero growth in 2007 and concluded that Israel ‘s tightened cordon of the Gaza Strip has “considerably eroded whatever private sector backbone remained in the economy and in a manner that is progressively more difficult to reverse”.
But financial support alone is not sufficient to ease the hardship faced by the Palestinians living under occupation. The settlements, along with barriers, checkpoints, a system of permits and military decrees which exclude Palestinians from 1000 miles of road and 38% of the West Bank – stifle both economic growth and all aspects of civil life.
The human rights of the Palestinian people are being consistently eroded by land expropriation, travel restrictions, mistreatment by Occupation forces and the Separation Wall in the West Bank that is dividing families and preventing people from reaching hospitals, education and work.
In this urgent situation, these meetings in London must not be talking-shops. To date, donors have demonstrated a lack of political will to bring pressure to bear on the Israeli government. It is immoral to allow discussion only of funding to the West Bank and not Gaza , which faces a humanitarian emergency.
Israel is acting in bad faith by expanding the settlements, even since Annapolis . The rest of the world has explicitly committed itself to the establishment of a viable Palestinian State . The AHLC & Quartet have to show they have the political will to insist Israel acts in concert with this aim, not against it.
Donors must take immediate steps to ensure that the necessary conditions are in place to allow economic growth and the full provision of vital services to all the Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza . This should include the end of the siege of Gaza , the end to settlements and the blocking of access and movement in the West Bank . Unless there is justice for the Palestinians and their human rights are upheld, donors risk funding the demise of the Palestinian state.
Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Jews for Justice for Palestinians
The Association of the Palestinian Community in the UK
NUS Black Students Campaign
Britain-Palestine Twinning Network
Council for Arab British Understanding
Midlands Palestinian Community Association
Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions – UK
Jewish Socialists’ Group
For more information please contact:
Jenny Najar – PSC