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EU aid has not been used to fund terrorism

April 6, 2004

"European aid has not been used to fund terrorism" affirms the European Parliament Working Group

By: Luisa Morgantini *

The reports of the Working Group of the European Parliament, on allegations that the EU funding to Palestinians was used for anti Israeli-attacks, discharge the Palestinian Authority, reporting, on the other side, a list of projects built wit the EU support and destroyed by the Israeli army.

This week, on Wednesday 31 of March, the European parliament Working Group has held its last meeting in Strasbourg to discuss the allegations on the misuse of the European aid to the Palestinians. The Working Group exposed its conclusions in two final documents: the final report by Mr Wynn and Mrs Theato and the minority opinion by Mr Laschet. Both of them stated that, "there is no conclusive evidence, to date, that the EU non-targeted Direct Budgetary Support was used to finance illegal anti Israeli activities, including the financial of terrorism". "There is no evidence that the EU budget support has not been fully transferred into the PA budget or that it was used outside the budget". Furthermore, the report stated that no evidence has been found that aid from the European Union was used to produce schoolbooks containing anti-Israeli propaganda. However, the group stated that the Israeli army has destroyed harbour, schools and other EU-funded projects in Palestine.

The working group has been created on March 2003 by the Conference of President to investigate about the allegations of the misuse of the European Union aid by the Palestinian Authority institutions and its Chairman. These allegations have come to public acknowledgement, since the beginning of the second Intifada in 2000, basically through the Israeli Government and the European and American press.

The working group has met over the last year with Israeli and Palestinian officials, and has studied several important documents related to the Palestinian Authority budget management. The Israeli authorities have been sending documents to the Working Group until recently, to affect the group conclusions, however without any clear evidential backup. As a Charwoman of the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council, I have been lobbying on the other side, following the work of this group and denouncing the Israeli misrepresentations.

Given this background, I would say that the European Union financial support to the Palestinian Authority should be maintained and increased. It has guaranteed the essential services including health and education and has prevented the collapse of the Palestinian Authority. Moreover, I think Israel should give financial compensation for the destruction of projects financed with aid from EU.

The conclusions of the Working Group represent an important victory for the legitimate aspiration of the Palestinian people. Together, with my colleagues inside the European Parliament, we will continue asking the European Union, to fulfil its financial aid to Palestinians, to send an international peace keeping force in Palestine and to create an independent Palestinian state living in peace beside Israel.

* Chairwoman of the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council.

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