EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid Kristalina Georgieva continues her visit to the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel. Today she and UN Under Secretary General Valerie Amos met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
Together with the Prime Minister, Commissioner Georgieva and Baroness Amos visited the West Bank’s Area C, where Palestinians face, on a daily basis, the risk of having their house or infrastructure demolished, of displacement, of less land being available, of poor access to services, water shortages and violence from settlers. The Commissioner and Under Secretary General Amos also travelled to East Jerusalem, where they met with evicted families. Of the 225 000 Palestinians in East Jerusalem, around 60 000 risk eviction from their already poor homes.
The Commissioner was moved by the plight of Palestinian families whom she met in both places. "Notably women and children live under the constant threat of harassment, eviction and disruption to their lives. There is an issue of protection. Forced displacement, combined with serious restrictions on access and movement imposed by the occupying power, denies to most of the people the possibility for economic and social development. They are denied the right to live a life in dignity," Commissioner Georgieva added.
She also underlined that the legitimate right of the Israeli people to live in peace and security does not clear Israel of its obligation as occupying power to respect international humanitarian law. "The respect of the right to a life in dignity enables us to avoid outbreaks of violence, such as those we witnessed today across the occupied Palestinian territory, and contributes to paving the way to peace," Commissioner Georgieva said.
The European Union is financing humanitarian projects, which provide legal support to Palestinians threatened by evictions, cash to allow them to pay the rent in their new homes and afford basic household items, as well as psycho-social support
The EU has long contributed to the efforts of the Palestinian Authority to provide services and jobs to the Palestinian people. Commissioner Georgieva commended the remarkable work done by Prime Minister Fayyad in the past years, and reiterated the EU’s continuing humanitarian support to the most vulnerable among the Palestinians.