Premier briefs EU diplomats on latest political developments

RAMALLAH, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah Thursday briefed European Union (EU) diplomats on the decisions of the Palestinian Central Council, which met in Ramallah on Sunday and decided to sever ties with Israel for failing to implement the signed agreements, in addition to the government’s measures towards the Gaza Strip, especially in terms of its commitment to provide services and spending of $96 million per month on Gaza and continued efforts to achieve reconciliation and end the division.

The Prime Minister also briefed the EU officials on the ongoing Israeli violations against the Palestinian people and settlement expansion in the West Bank and Jerusalem, the last of which was the announcement of the construction of thousands of settlement units in Maaleh Adumim settlement and the construction of new units in the heart of Hebron, in addition to its measures in Khan al-Ahmar and attempts to dislocated its resident.

He called on the European Union to immediately intervene to stop these violations, through which Israel seeks to undermine the two-state solution and chances of peace.

He also called on the European Union member states to support projects in area C of the occupied West Bank, which constitute 61% of its area, and pressure Israel to enable Palestinians to invest in these areas in order to enhance the Palestinian economy.

The Prime Minister discussed with the EU representatives the efforts and achievements of the government despite the suffocating financial crisis it is facing due to the decline in foreign aid by 71%, in addition to the efforts of the government to provide the necessary support for hospitals in East Jerusalem, especially after the US decision to stop providing financial support to these hospitals.

In this context, he called on the European Union to support hospitals in Jerusalem and quickly intervene to pressure Israel to reverse its decision to deduct the financial allocations the Palestinian government pays for families of prisoners and those killed by Israel from the Palestinian tax funds.

Hamdallah stressed the government’s respect for international conventions on human rights and freedom of opinion and expression. He pointed out that the government formed a committee to investigate the results of the latest report issued by Human Rights Watch and to refute the cases contained in it.

He stressed the importance of the results of the recent donors meeting held in New York and the importance of implementing the projects it approved, especially the desalination plant project in the Gaza Strip. He called for supporting the full partnership agreement between the EU and Palestine and implementing it for its political and economic importance.

Hamdallah renewed his demand that the European Union recognize the Palestinian state as a practical step to save the two-state solution, praising the European support for the Palestinians at all levels and praising the European Parliament’s vote against the proposal to cut European aid to the education sector in Palestine in addition to providing Euros 22 million in aid to UNRWA.

Source: Palestinian News and Info Agency