Statement by the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Mr. Robert Serry
on the alleged UN involvement of payment of salaries in Gaza
I reject allegations that I have been trying to transfer funds to Hamas. I did visit Qatar a few weeks back on a pre-scheduled trip. The issue of a UN role on the payment of salaries in Gaza did not come up at the time with the Qatari authorities. There have since been reports that Qatar has been considering assisting in this issue. And indeed I was approached last Thursday informally by Prime Minister Hamdallah of the Palestinian Authority. In considering any UN role on the issue of payments of salaries in Gaza that has potentially destabilizing effects on security in Gaza, I made it clear that we would only be able to be of assistance if acceptable to all stakeholders, including Israel. This information was immediately shared with Israeli authorities at the working level and their initial reaction was indeed negative.
For the past seven years that I have been UN Special Coordinator I have carried out my work with impartiality in an effort to assist both Israelis and Palestinians. It is now disheartening to hear that in considering a request from one of the parties in the aforementioned effort, the integrity of my role is being questioned.