The European Union stated that its aid will bypass the Palestinian National Unity Government until it accepts the conditions of the Quartet committee. The statement was made by the EU aid commissioner, Louis Michel, during his Thursday meeting with the Israeli Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, Reuters reported.Michel stated that the sanctions imposed on the occupied Palestinian territories have caused a sharp deterioration of the Palestinian situation. He added that until the Palestinian Unity Government officially meets the demands of the Quartet, the process of providing aid to the Palestinians will not change.
After the Palestinians formed the unity government, dominated by Hamas and Fateh, the Palestinian leadership was hoping that the major donors and the EU would lift the year-old sanctions that were imposed after Hamas achieved an overwhelming victory in the legislative elections.
President Mahmoud Abbas and his Finance Minister, Salaam Fayyad, visited several European countries in the past few weeks as part of a Palestinian diplomacy that attempted to convince Europe to lift the economic boycott led by Israel and the United States.
On Thursday, a senior EU official, stated on condition of anonymity, that the EU is concerned that Hamas would try to exert its control over the government funds despite the fact the Salaam Fayyad, who has good relations with the West, is the Finance Minister.
The agenda of the Unity Government states that it will respect the previous peace agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation organization, but it insists on the Palestinian right to resist the Israeli occupation.
Since last year’s legislative elections and the overwhelming victory of Hamas, and after months of blockade, the EU started channeling funds to the Palestinians through a “temporary international mechanism”, which bypasses the government.
Several EU officials stated that the EU expects that this mechanism will provide the Palestinians with 34 million euro per month in what they described as “allowances” to Palestinian governmental employees.
The EU and the United states want any funds to be transferred through an account for the Palestinian Liberation Organization in order to avoid channeling funds to “Hamas ministers and to elevate moderate ministers of the new government, such as Fayyad”.