Select Committee on International Development Written Evidence

Supplementary memorandum submitted by Oxfam

  Further to Adam Leach's answer to Oral evidence, Q90, we would also like to put on record that we are very concerned about the unsubstantiated accusations by the US government that the British Muslim charity Interpal is a terrorist organisation. Interpal were eventually cleared when no evidence was forthcoming, but this unnecessary investigation has generated very negative publicity for a bona fide charitable organisation and sets a dangerous precedent for other British organisations helping poor communities in Palestine. We would like to see HM government standing up for British NGOs and taking a more independent line on this in future.

  Further to Adam Leach's answer to Oral evidence, Q93, in order to achieve real change, the British government should use its influence with the Quartet for Peace to explore alternatives to Israeli occupation. Development aid is not enough on its own, and should be accompanied by international protection mechanisms that will impartially uphold rights of both Israeli and Palestinian civilians under international humanitarian law. Only such an arrangement can ensure an immediate cessation of violence by both sides, restore normal economic activity, and help foster the trust and goodwill that will be needed to reach a final settlement.

19 November 2003

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