Joint memorandum submitted by the Palestine
1. The Palestine Platform provides a joint
voice for UK-based member organisations undertaking relief and
development work in the occupied Palestinian Territories (oPT).
Members work together through the Palestine Platform to raise
awareness and improve the understanding of the roots of impoverishment
of Palestinians amongst policy makers, the press and other key
audiences and to campaign for change.
2. The World Bank predict that the Western
aid embargo and the Israeli restrictions could lead to a reduction
in Palestinian incomes by 40% this year leaving 67% of Palestinians
living below the poverty line. They fear that current aid restrictions
could reverse international efforts over the past 13 years to
build a sustainable Palestinian economy and an effective Palestinian
3. The DFID Palestinian Programme Interim
Update also recognises this deteriorating situation and concludes
that the economic deterioration is underpinned by:
Suspension of the transfer of customs
and other revenues by Israel.
Restrictions on movement, access
Restricted Palestinian labour flows
4. Palestine Platform members believe that
the crisis is having a major impact on the humanitarian situation
in the oPT and agree with DFID regarding the above major causes.
5. Palestine Platform members recognised
that the PA election in January 2006 was a democratic process.
6. Many Palestine Platform members have
consistently stated that diverting donor funds away from the PA
Undermine the Palestinian economy
and create a worsening humanitarian situation
Undermine the Palestinian Authority
preventing, rather than encouraging, the further development of
an accountable and transparent PA.
7. Palestinian Platform members have warned
that the Temporary International Mechanism (TIM) is not meeting
all the needs of the Palestinian people.
8. The humanitarian situation is urgent
but is intrinsically linked to the long term development of the
Palestinian economy, an accountable and transparent Palestinian
Authority as well as a vibrant and strong civil society. It is
essential that any responses address the long-term causes of this
9. We welcome DFID's stated desire to support
more effective, accountable and inclusive PA institutions. However,
we propose that this requires a broad engagement with the Palestinian
Authority that goes beyond the TIM and support to the President's
Office. We encourage the Quartet members to look to the current
talks between Hamas and Fatah for a government of national unity
as an opportunity to revisit their position on relations with
the Palestinian Authority.
10. We stress the critical role a strong
civil society plays in development and in ensuring accountable
and transparent government structures with appropriate prioritisation
and disbursement of government funds. This requires a balanced
approach between assistance to the Palestinian Authority and civil
11. The conflict and continued occupation
is one of the main causes of the current crisis and DFID's recognition
that a just and peaceful solution must be a major objective of
their support is commendable. We would propose that this can only
be achieved with the full involvement of the elected representation
of the Palestinian people.
12. Only a full engagement with the Palestinian
Authority will enable DFID's work around creating a positive investment
climate through facilitating private sector engagement, improving
access to finance and analysing investment opportunities to have
13. However, a positive investment climate
combined with economic growth will be insufficient to create the
full conditions for a just and peaceful political solution. We
encourage DFID to play as full a role as their remit allows in
ensuring all conditions for securing a just and lasting solution
to the conflict.
This statement is signed by the following agencies:
ABCD, Care International UK, Christian Aid,
Education Action International, Friends of Birzeit University,
Healthlink Worldwide, Interpal, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Medical
Aid for Palestinians, Oxfam, Qattan Foundation, Quakers, Response
International, United Nations Association International Service,
War on Want, Welfare Association, World Vision, and Y Care International.