Skip to main content

Palestinians: Sanctions

Volume 459: debated on Monday 30 April 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the impact of banking sanctions on conditions of life in the Palestinian territories; and if he will make a statement. (134526)

Since Hamas formed a Palestinian Government in March 2006, international banks dealing with the Palestinian Authority (PA) have risked litigation under US anti-terrorism laws. One result of this has been that the PA’s single treasury account has been frozen. This has undermined important progress made over recent years to improve public financial accountability and control.

Although this situation has made it harder to transfer money to the PA, the PA has been able to continue spending the limited funds it has available. DFID and other donors have also continued and increased aid to help meet the basic needs of Palestinians through other channels. For example, European Union (community and member states) aid is estimated to have increased by 27 per cent. in 2007, compared with 2006. This has partially offset the impact on Palestinian livelihoods of Israel's decision to withhold clearance revenues due to the PA.

DFID is providing technical assistance to the Palestinian Monetary Authority to help ensure that Palestinian banks are able to meet international standards for tackling terrorist financing and money laundering.