Press Notice 47, Session 2002-03

EVIDENCE SESSION:

Development Assistance and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

The International Development Committee agreed to conduct an inquiry - announced in a press notice dated 5 June 2003 (PN34.2002/03) - on Development Assistance and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The Committee is pleased to announce that the following evidence session has now been arranged:

Date and venue - Tuesday 11 November, Palace of Westminster

Time - 2.30 p.m.

Witnesses - International NGOs:   William Bell, Advocacy Officer, for the Palestinians and Israel, Christian Aid;  Adam Leach, Regional Director, Middle East and Central Europe, Oxfam;  Dr Mohammed Shadid, Welfare Association, Jerusalem;   Save the Children Fund - to be confirmed

Time - 3.30 p.m.  Jeff Halper, Israeli Committee Against House Demolition.

Time - 3.50 p.m.  Mrs Robi Damelin and Dr Adel Misk, Parents' Circle

Time - 4.10 p.m.  Dr Shimon T. Samuels, Director for International Liaison, Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Ilka Schroder, MEP

Those wishing to attend this evidence session should contact the Committee Office Information Line on 020 7 219 2033 to confirm the venue the day before the hearing.

The Parents' Circle is an organisation of Israeli and Palestinian bereaved parents who have lost their children in conflict, working to promote peace, reconciliation and tolerance. See www.theparentscircle.com for further information.

During the inquiry, the Committee will be particularly considering the following issues:

1. The effectiveness of aid from UK and EU sources on Palestinian poverty levels, how it is targeted and what could be done to prevent it from being wasted or destroyed.

2.  The impact on Palestinian trade, employment and economic development of customs duties and taxes, and controls on the movement of goods and people at Israeli ports and airports and points of entry to the West Bank and Gaza.

3. The impact of the wall of separation for Palestinian farmers and for employment, movement of people and delivery of humanitarian assistance.

4.  The control that the network of settlements in the occupied territories have over the basic conditions for the development of the Palestinian economy: agricultural land, water, movement of persons and goods, environmental impacts.

5. The accountability of Palestinian government institutions and the technical capacities of the public and private sectors to build an autonomous and viable economy.

6. The role of civil society, including NGOs, in ensuring a broad popular participation in the development of Palestinian society.

7.  Priorities for UK aid through bilateral and multilateral channels to strengthen the infrastructure of Palestinian development.

8. The role of aid in supporting political solutions to the conflict.

9. Future development needs of a Palestinian state and the potential for its economic cooperation with Israel.

Detailed enquiries to Sarah Hartwell, Second Clerk, on 020 7219 0851 or   [email protected]

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Reports and press notices issued by the International Development Committee are available on the Parliamentary website: www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/international_development.cfm

The membership of the Committee is as follows: Tony Baldry (Chairman) (Conservative, Banbury), John Barrett (Liberal Democrat, Edinburgh West), Mr John Battle (Labour, Leeds West), Hugh Bayley (Labour, City of York), Alistair Burt (Conservative, North East Bedfordshire), Ann Clwyd (Labour, Cynon Valley), Mr Tony Colman (Labour, Putney), Mr Piara S. Khabra (Labour, Ealing, Southall), Chris McCafferty (Labour, Calder Valley), Mr Robert Walter (Conservative, North Dorset) and  Tony Worthington (Labour, Clydebank and Milngavie).