Department of Arab and International Relations (DIAR), which is affiliated with the Palestine Liberation organization (PLO), reported Sunday that the Palestinian people are ‘on the verge of a humanitarian disaster’.
A report, issued by DIAR says that the living conditions of the Palestinians have been grossly deteriorated over the past year, since international players have imposed an economic boycott of the Hamas-led government in March 2006.
According to the statement, 60% of Palestinians live for an average daily income of $2 , while 35% suffer from food shortages.
The European commissioner for development and humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, said that life expectancy of Palestinian children has decreased by 15%.
Among the reasons for the harsh economy has been Israel’s withholding of Palestinian tax money revenues, estimated at $800 millions, since the installation of the Hamas government after January2006’s elections, the DIAR’s report adds.
Recently, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) commissioner-general, Karen Abu Zayd, stated that Palestinians are facing a serious crisis.
In the meantime, the report expresses the PLO’s appreciation to all parties that have so far demonstrated genuine willingness to ease the economic restrictions on the Palestinians, calling on the EU countries to lift the embargo.
The international quartet for promoting peace in the Middle East (United Sates, United Nations, European Union, Russia), has been demanding the Hamas-led government to recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept past signed agreements as preconditions for lifting the economic boycott.
Early on March, the Palestinian rival parties, Hamas and Fatah, established their first ever unity government that respects signed peace agreements with Israel, but does not ostensibly recognize Israel.
PLO signed in 1993 the Oslo peace accords with Israel, in which both sides exchanged recognition. PLO is made up of all Palestinian parties excluding the governing Hamas and the Islamic Jihad group, which refused to join the unity government.