Thursday, 12 February 2009


My telephone lights up with a new message: "Jawwal welcomes you to Palestine. Smell the jasmine and taste the olives." Sounds great.

I'm in Ramallah, with the European Parliament's Palestine Delegation, specifically to explore the possibilities for recreating some kind of government of national unity. It's the day after the Israeli elections.

The Palestinian Negotiations Support Unit brings us up to date with the latest details of the dismemberment of what so many in the world want to become a Palestinian state. The Israeli land grab proceeds apace with the expansion of settlements, house demolitions, extension of the Wall, building of new roads for Jewish settlers, and growth of military areas. On current Israeli plans the 22pc of original land left for Palestinians before 1967 will now be reduced to 14pc. The system of identity cards means that no-one, including the Prime Minister, has a right to exist outside Israeli control.

Meanwhile in Gaza 4,000 homes have been completely destroyed and 17,000 partially so - along with 1,314 killed (412 children) and 5,300 injured (1,815 children).

In Jerusalem we meet with representatives of the European Commission. They know it all but can't say it all. Even so they succeed in only half hiding their frustration with EU policy. They want Israel's blockade of Gaza to end. Only 15 items are being allowed in, everything else is banned: concrete, glass, paper, nappies, water purifying tablets, spare parts for hospital equipment, plastic bags for dividing up sacks of basic food - all banned. 500 lorry loads a day are needed but only a third of that number are being allowed through.

We talk of the EU funding priority, which is to support the development of Palestinian institutions (paying wages) that could provide the basis for statehood. We talk of the cost of Gaza reconstruction.

"Tell me," I ask, "why is EU taxpayers' money being used to support institutions when Palestine is under military occupation, is being dismembered by the occupiers, and when the occupiers refuse to state what the limits are of their expansionist plans? It's like pouring water into a bath with no plug." The Commission confirms that under the Geneva Convention the occupier should provide humanitarian assistance.

The situation is mad. Israel will never change its behaviour until we make it responsible for its actions, and that means making it foot the bill.


Anonymous said...

Very one sided post!
How about rockets raining down on Israel?
Israel has the right to defend herself.
If Hamas stops shooting rockets into Israeli towns,stops the terror snd releases Shalit, there would be no need for IDF aucion.

Anonymous said...

is it now one sided ???
cause the world now started to know the reality of and cruelty of israel , now u claim its one side !!
still people will know more and the whole world will know the truth , and how the zionist stolen the land of Palestine.

Anonymous said...

thank you Mr. Davies for such posts.. we need more courageous people like you around to speak up