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Donation to Palestinians a ‘diversion’

July 1, 2012

Friday, April 28. 2006
A donation of 15 million ($26.78 million) in support of Palestinian refugees has been described as a diversion from the real issue.

The announcement comes after the European Union decision to suspend direct aid to the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority.

Hilary Benn, the International Development Secretary of the UK Department for International Development (DFID), said that the funding would be made available immediately to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides basic services for Palestinian refugees in the occupied Palestinian territories and elsewhere in the Middle East.

Mr Benn said: “We will do all we can to continue to support the ordinary Palestinian people. UNRWA has a proven track record in delivering basic human needs to Palestinian refugees. This additional funding will mean UNRWA can continue its vital role providing health, education, job creation and other essential programmes for Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.

But a spokesman from the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, Marcel Kurtz, told The Muslim Weekly that although donations to relieve the plight of the Palestinian people was welcomed; he described the gesture as a “diversion” from the real issue. “Instead of the funding that existed, it [the donation] will not help the big problems faced [by the Palestinians] today – impoverishment, unemployment, and people are not being paid. All the Palestinians are now affected by the aid crisis there.”

He added that it was also necessary to apply political pressure to the Israeli Government to end its illegal military occupation.

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