Thursday, 4 October 2012

Palestinians lose aid as US intensifies anti-statehood campaign

Palestinians fish at Gaza Seaport in Gaza City September 30, 2012. Israel confines fishermen within a three-mile fishing zone in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Gaza, Palestinian fishermen syndicate said. A Palestinian man died on September 29 after he was shot by Israeli troops while fishing on the beach in the Gaza Strip, said Hamas officials, while an Israeli military spokeswoman said the man was shot when he approached the border fence. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
Published Wednesday, October 3, 2012
The Palestinian Authority received no funding pledges from its usual donors at a New York meet last week, according to Ma'an news agency.

The absence of pledges appears to be linked to the PA's bid for statehood, in defiance of an aggressive US campaign against it.

“The Europeans said it clearly that they have paid their dues and can't pay more. And the Arabs don't seem to care,” a senior government official told Ma'an on condition of anonymity.

Washington has warned European countries not to support the PA's bid to become an “observer state” at the UN, a secret memo published in part by The Guardian Monday revealed.

The memo urged Europeans “to support [American] efforts” to block the bid. The message was communicated to European representatives at the UN general assembly in New York last week.
It warned of “significant negative consequences” for the Palestinian Authority, including financial sanctions, should it go ahead with the bid.

The Palestinian economy hangs in the balance as both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip bear witness to an upsurge in inflation and unemployment. The Palestinian Authority faces a $400 million shortfall, according to the World Bank which urged donors to ramp up support, deeming it "critical".
It faulted Israel's tightening grip on the occupied Palestinian territories for the economic decline.
“We hope you [Europe] are willing to support our efforts...We would appreciate knowing where your government stands on this issue. We would also be interested in knowing whether you have been approached on this matter by Palestinian representatives,” the memo said.

The US staunchly opposed the PA's 2011 bid for full membership of the UN, which failed to pass the Security Council, where Washington holds veto power.

The less-ambitious bid for "observer state" does not need approval from the Security Council and is likely to win the majority needed in the General Assembly.

The US pulled out its funding from UN cultural body UNESCO after the group accepted the PA's bid for full statehood. The US had contributed nearly 22 percent of UNESCO's financial budget.
(Al-Akhbar, Ma'an)

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
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