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Palestinian Authority

Volume 457: debated on Friday 23 February 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations she has made to the (a) EU and (b) Quartet on (i) the withholding by Israel of revenues from the Palestinian Authority (PA), (ii) international assistance to the PA and (iii) the future of the Temporary International Mechanism. (122498)

We regularly discuss all these issues with our EU and Quartet (EU, US, UN and Russia) partners. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary raised withheld tax revenues with Israeli Foreign Minister Livni on 2 January. We welcome Israeli Prime Minister Olmert and Palestinian President Abbas' meeting on 23 December 2006, and the resulting release of US$100 million in Palestinian tax revenues. We continue to call upon Israel to release all revenues withheld since 18 February 2006.

The Government are extremely concerned about the humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territories. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary raised her concerns about the humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territories with Israeli Foreign Minister Livni on 20 February. We are committed to helping the Palestinian people through the EU-led temporary international mechanism (TIM) and other projects. The TIM has been extended by the Quartet twice, most recently in late December 2006 for three months. Following this decision the EU has agreed to increase the number of recipients, while maintaining the rigorous auditing procedures that have been applied so far.