Development Assistance and the Occupied Palestinian Territories
Final evidence session
Thursday 14 December, Thatcher Room, Portcullis House
Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP, Secretary of State for International Development, Martin Dinham, Director, Europe, Middle East, the Americas and East Asia Division, and David Hallam, Head, DFID Palestinian Programme
The International Development Committee last reported on development in the Occupied Territories in its report “Development assistance and the Occupied Palestinian Territories”, HC 230-I, published in 2004. The political and development context has changed significantly since the Hamas election victory in January. The Committee is therefore returning to the subject, and has returned recently from a visit to the region.
The key questions now are:
what are the implications of the Hamas election victory?
what has been the impact on poverty / the humanitarian situation?
how best can development be achieved in this context?
how effectively have the UK, World Bank and EC responded to the new reality?
The inquiry will review developments since its last report. In particular it will address the following issues:
1. The impact of the suspension of aid to the Palestinian Authority and the impact of the temporary international mechanism for Palestinian basic needs, agreed by the Quartet and the European Council.
2. The impact on Palestinian development of Association Agreements between the EU and Israel/Palestine
3. The challenges faced by the UN in addressing humanitarian affairs in the Palestinian territories and in service provision, and its effectiveness in meeting those challenges.
4. The impact on development in the Palestinian Territories of Israel's disengagement from Gaza and the possibility of further disengagement from parts of the West Bank.
5.The impact on Palestinian trade, employment, and economic development of customs duties and taxes levied by Israel or those collected by Israel on behalf of the PA at Israeli ports and airports and points of entry to the West Bank and Gaza.
6. The impact of the separation barrier and other controls on the movement of goods and people on employment, poverty, economic development and on the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
7. 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.
8. The role of civil society, including NGOs, in ensuring a broad popular participation in the development of Palestinian society.
9. The role of development assistance in supporting political solutions to the conflict.
10. Future development needs of a Palestinian state and the potential for its economic cooperation with Israel.
Detailed enquiries to Dr Anna Dickson, Committee Specialist on 020 7219 2738 or
The membership of the Committee is as follows: Malcolm Bruce MP (Chairman, Lib Dem), John Barrett MP (Lib Dem), John Battle MP (Lab), John Bercow MP (Con), Hugh Bayley MP (Lab), Richard Burden MP (Lab), Mr Quentin Davies MP (Con), James Duddridge MP (Con), Ann McKechin MP (Lab), Joan Ruddock MP (Lab), Mr Marsha Singh (Lab).
Media Enquiries: Alex Paterson, 020 7219 1589 or
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