Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Letter to the Clerk, from the Parliamentary Relations and Devolution Team

  During Peter Gooderham's appearance before the Committee on 28 February, you asked him about aid given to the Palestinians by Arab and Muslim States. Unfortunately, we do not have a definitive figure for this aid, as these States often do not publish accounts detailing bilateral funding. Arab and Muslim States also provide indirect funding for the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). For example, many Arab and Muslim States provide large donations to the Islamic Red Crescent, which in turn carries out projects in the OPTs. To add to the lack of clarity, the Palestinian Authority did not publish a budget in 2006. However, some information is available.

  Since Peter Gooderham gave evidence to the FAC, we have received data from the Hamas-led Ministry of Finance on its sources of funding during 2006. The MoF reports that they received: $51.9 million from Saudi Arabia; $20 million from the UAE; $14.3 from Qatar; $6.6 million from Oman; $34.9 million from Algeria; and $28.9 million from Kuwait. They also received a further $215 million from the Arab League.

  This is not the full amount given during 2006. For example, at the 3rd International Conference on Jerusalem and Support for the Rights of the Palestinian People, which took place in Tehran on 15 / 16 April, Iran pledged $50 million to the "Palestinian people". This was not mentioned in the official Ministry of Finance figures. There have also been reports of various other flows of funds.

I hope you find this information helpful.

Parliamentary Relations and Devolution Team

9 March 2007

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