Miliband to host Pales­tinian aid meet­ing in Lon­don

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY LEON SY­MONS

FOR­EIGN SEC­RE­TARY David Miliband is likely to use a Lon­don meet­ing next month of the ad hoc li­ai­son com­mit­tee for the co-or­di­na­tion of in­ter­na­tional aid to Pales­tini­ans to put pres­sure on Is­rael to ease the block­ade of Gaza.

But the Pales­tinian Author­ity will also feel the heat over Ha­mas’s con­tin­ued rocket at­tacks on Sderot and else­where, which have con­trib­uted to Is­rael’s tough stance on Gaza.

Is­raeli For­eign Min­is­ter Tzipi Livni and Pales­tinian Prime Min­is­ter Salam Fayyad will be join­ing the for­eign min­is­ters of all the gov­ern­ments in­volved in the com­mit­tee at its first full meet­ing this year, the first since it met at the United Na­tions last Septem­ber.

Though Mr Miliband will be host­ing the meet­ing, it will be chaired by Nor­way’s For­eign Min­is­ter, Jonas Gahr Støre. Nor­way has been in charge of the li­ai­son com­mit­tee since it was cre­ated af­ter the Oslo Ac­cords in 1994. It was set up to sup­port the eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and build­ing of the in­fra­struc­ture in the West Bank, Gaza and Pales­tinian so­ci­ety as a whole.

At a meet­ing of the donor con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber, a plan was un­veiled to give the Pales­tinian Author­ity $7.7bn (£3.75bn) in the next three years.

Signe Guro Gilen, a se­nior ad­viser in the Nor­we­gian For­eign Min­istry’s Mid­dle East sec­tion, said this week: “It is im­por­tant that the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity stands be­hind the ef­fort to take the dis­cus­sions [be­tween Is­rael and the PA] fur­ther. Gaza is in­te­gral. There needs to be ac­tiv­ity by all those in­volved to help to cre­ate a vi­able econ­omy for the Pales­tinian area.”

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