The decision by the EU to suspend aid to the Palestinian Authority is already deepening the humanitarian crisis facing the Palestinians ('Gaza on the brink of implosion as aid cut-off starts to bite', News, last week).But it doesn't say who "we" are. I googled "Joe Zacune" and it seems to be War on Want.
Despite recent empty assurances made by Jack Straw, it is ordinary Palestinians who are set to suffer. The suggestion by Straw and EU foreign ministers that aid for essential services such as water, food, electricity and health can be channelled through other agencies is not viable. Few international NGOs have the capacity to channel such funds and, even if they could, this would serve to undermine Palestinian institutions.
Livelihoods are being destroyed by Israeli border closures, land seizures, bombardments, the 450-mile long separation wall and the occupation. We call on the UK government to remedy the appalling situation faced by the Palestinians by reconsidering its decision to cut off aid. The human-rights violations that are carried out day to day oblige the UK government to suspend the trade preferences that Israel enjoys under the EU-Israeli trade association agreement.
April 23, 2006
Here's a strange thing in the Observer letters page. It's a letter from a Joe Zacune calling on the UK government to reconsider its decision to cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority.