Select Committee on International Development Written Evidence

Joint memorandum submitted by the Palestine Platform

  The Palestine Platform is a grouping of UK based development and humanitarian agencies working with Palestinians and Israelis. It provides a forum for members to share information, discuss emerging issues and co-ordinate activities. Members work together through the Palestine Platform to raise awareness and improve understanding of the roots of the impoverishment of Palestinians amongst policy makers, the press and other key audiences and to campaign for change.

  The undersigned agencies represented in the Palestine Platform consider upholding international humanitarian and human rights law by the Government of Israel, the Palestinian National Authority and the UK Government essential to their work and the development of the oPt, in particular:

    —  guaranteeing the safety of humanitarian workers and the re-establishment and facilitation of their freedom of movement;

    —  respecting the fundamental human rights of freedom of movement and freedom from arbitrary arrest such as administrative detention for Palestinians and their institutions;

    —  constant efforts to ensure the rights to education, adequate food and water and to health is fulfilled and to minimise to the greatest extent possible adverse effects on the psychosocial wellbeing of the Palestinian population caused by the disruption of normal life.

  Furthermore, members of the Palestine Platform are concerned about increased difficulties in carrying out their work in the occupied Palestinian territories, in particular:

    —  the destruction and disabling of infrastructure, part of which is foreign-funded, and the lack accountability for damage replacement and repairs;

    —  a political climate detracting from provision of assistance according to need.

  The conditions for working with Palestinians in development have starkly deteriorated for the international community over the past three years. The Department for International Development and the UK Government as a whole should put all its diplomatic weight behind creating the necessary conditions for Palestinian development in accordance with international human rights and humanitarian law, a culture of accountability and the capacity to do so in Palestinian society and institutions in order to reduce the dependence of Palestinian families on external actors for their livelihoods.

  Action around Bethlehem Children with Disability (ABCD), CARE International UK, Education Action International, Friends of Birzeit University, Healthlink Worldwide, International Service (UNAIS), Interpal, Medical Aid for Palestinians, Oxfam GB, Qattan Foundation, Quaker Peace and Social Witness, Save the Children UK, War on Want, Welfare Association, Y Care International.

September 2003

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