Tuesday, April 11, 2006

but the world allows israel to continue ...

French Official Denies Suspending Assistance to PNA, UNRWA Concerned Over Child Safety in Gaza

GAZA, April 11, 2006 (IPC + Agencies) - - The spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry denied on Tuesday that the European Union has cut off financial assistance completely to the Palestinian National Authority, as the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) expressed concern over the safety of Palestinian children in Gaza Strip.

Jean-Baptiste Mattei, the spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry, asserted at a press conference in Paris, that the EU will remain the largest international donor body to the Palestinian people, but it had suspended some of the assistance and will continue to offer assistance in the fields of education and health.

He further mentioned that funding will be resumed through UNRWA, Non-Governmental Organizations and the Palestinian presidency establishment, in addition to continuing technical contacts with Palestinian government officials in order to deal with non-political issues.

"These relations will be dealt with constantly, and are not complete disconnection. It is dynamic and developing, and it can always change according to the Palestinian government attitude and their response to European demands," Mattei stated.

On the other hand, the spokesman confirmed President Mahmoud Abbas' visit to France by the end of this month, adding that the EU has demanded the Israeli government consider paying the PNA financial dues, stressing the necessity of easing the movement restrictions of Palestinians inside and abroad.

Elsewhere, the Director of UNRWA Operations, John Ging, asserted that his organizations is deeply concerned over the safety of Palestinian children under the continuous Israeli bombardment of northern Gaza Strip.

"We might suspend studies at northern Gaza schools, and we are now considering suspending the distribution of food aid due to the continued closure of Karni crossing," Ging said in a press conference after touring northern Gaza.

The UN official explained that the shortage of medical supplies "is a result of the daily and repeated closure of the Karni crossing, and the shortage will continue if the closure does."

The director of UNRWA Operations also expressed his deepest regrets over the death of 8-year-old Hadeel Ghaben in an Israeli bombardment of her family's house, saying that is not acceptable at all for an innocent child to lose her life for no reason.

"The Agency will encourage any party that can pass and provide assistance for the Palestinians in Gaza… if we said there are no crises today we will have a crisis everyday," Ging confirmed.

UNRWA supports more than 765,000 Palestinian refugees in Gaza Strip, through providing basic supplies, health care and education services to the different refugee camps throughout the Strip.