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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: United Kingdom
7 April 2007


British Political Consul Ross Allen visited areas in southern Hebron and saw for him self the suffering of Palestinians living there, before he met mayors and heads of civil society organisation. He also listened to the very complicated circumstances in which these organisations are operating in given the hard economic situation.

Heads of local organisations told the British diplomat that the Israeli government is not serious when it talks about establishing a Palestinian state and gave him examples of that, by highlighting the Israeli settlement activities in the Palestinian territories. They also outlined some of the projects that citizens could benefit from in the southern Hebron district.

The British Consul explained that the aim of the visit was to see the economic and political problems that faced citizens and exchange ideas and views about the possibility to support any development projects. He also said that he was disturbed by the checkpoints that restrict movement of Palestinians and expressed hopes that the relation between the Palestinian side and Israel would improve. In addition, he reiterated his country's support for establishing two states based on the 1967 borders. He said: "We know that Palestinians need a state of their own and want the occupation to end".

The British Consul also asked the accompanying personalities about the possibility that the political and economic situation would improve after the formation of a NUG. The answer was that they hoped it would, but that it depended on the Israeli and international response to dealing with the newly formed government.

Allen also said that discussions with the Finance Minister Salam Fayyad are currently underway to explore possibilities of more co-operation and financial support. He also hoped the government will succeed and called for resuming negotiations and said that Israel's withholding of tax revenues due to the PA had caused a big problem. The diplomat stressed that the southern Hebron district is in need of development assistance and promised to inform the concerned departments at the British government about this.

For more information, please contact Fadi Ali at (Press & Public Diplomacy Officer)

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