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European solidarity with the Palestinian people

International day of solidarity with the Palestinian people: Louis Michel reaffirms European solidarity

The European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, is visiting the Palestinian Territories today to meet civilians affected by the conflict and reaffirm European solidarity, which is reflected by significant financial support from the European Commission, one of the leading international donors. This mission coincides with a further humanitarian aid allocation of €8.3 million for the Palestinian people. During his visit the Commissioner will meet Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qorei.

“The humanitarian situation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip remains cause for serious concern. The conflict, restrictions on the movement of people and goods and the construction of the security barrier have resulted in a deterioration in living conditions. I reiterate the EU's solidarity with the civilian victims of this conflict", said Louis Michel.

Since the second Intifada in September 2000, the European Commission has allocated €191 million in humanitarian aid for Palestinians. The new decision for €8.3 million is intended to meet the most urgent needs of Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (water, sanitation, food, temporary jobs) and to finance the rehabilitation of shelters for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. For 2005 alone the Commission has adopted two decisions for a total of €36.6 million to meet the needs of the most vulnerable Palestinians.

At the end of this first day in the Palestinian Territories, Mr Michel will meet Prime Minister Ahmed Qorei. Discussions will include access difficulties for humanitarian operators, movement restrictions, the security barrier, settlements, demolition of homes and compliance with international humanitarian law.
For further information, see

http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/echo/field/gaza/index_fr.htm

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