News story | Date: 27/09/2018 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
‘Gaza is on the brink of economic, humanitarian and social collapse. Intense diplomacy over the summer has prevented the outbreak of war, but the situation is still critical and unstable. Over the last months, the donor group has given priority to concrete measures that can improve the situation for the two million Palestinians living in Gaza. There is an urgent need for better access to clean water and energy,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.
In New York today, Ms Eriksen Søreide chaired a meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), which coordinates international assistance to Palestine. The meeting was hosted by the UN. The Palestinian Authority was represented by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, and Minister of Regional Cooperation Tzachi Hanegbi led the Israeli delegation. In addition, representatives of the donors, including the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Frederica Mogherini, ministers from several other countries, and US Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt participated at the meeting.
‘At the meeting today, the AHLC agreed to continue its work to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza. Looking further ahead, the economy and infrastructure both need to be improved. Israel must ease restrictions. A political solution for Gaza depends on the divisions between Hamas and Fatah being reconciled and the Palestinian Authority regaining full control of Gaza,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.
As a result of the recent fall in support both for the Palestinian Authority and for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), the international community is deeply concerned about the sustainability of the Palestinian economy. Unless the situation improves significantly, there is a risk that the Palestinian economy could collapse during the course of next year. This would be a serious setback after 25 years of international donor support and state building in Palestine. Norway and other donors are also deeply concerned about the negative security consequences this could have both for Israel and for the region as a whole.
‘I am glad that the international community has once again expressed its clear support for a two-state solution. A negotiated final-status agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians is the only way to achieve durable peace. In this politically very challenging period, it is vital that donors and the international community reaffirm their support for a two-state solution,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.
The AHLC was established in 1993 following the Oslo I Accord, with a view to creating an institutional and economic basis for a negotiated two-state solution. It is the only international forum where both parties to the conflict take part in a regular dialogue with donors and the international community with a view to pursuing Palestinian state-building and a negotiated two-state solution.