At their arrival to Qalqiliya, EU Heads of Cooperation were briefed by Qalqiliya Governor and representatives of the Ministry of Local Government (MoLG) on the challenges facing the governorate. The briefing primarily focused on the obstacles that the Palestinian Authority faces as it works to improve the living conditions of the Palestinians particularly in Area C of the Governorate.
The Heads of Cooperation visited social infrastructure projects (kindergarten and playground) in Ras Tira recently completed as part of the EU-funded Area C Development Programme. The group then visited other projects implemented under the Humanitarian pooled fund implemented by OCHA in Jbara village and funded by several donors in addition to development projects funded by Sweden and France. The visit was completed at Kufr Kaddoum village which is receiving support though the Community Resilience Development Programme (CRDP) funded by Austria, Norway and Sweden.
The main aim of the actions implemented and supported by the European Union in Area C is to preserve the viability of a two state solution. At their meetings of July 2015 and January 2016, EU foreign ministers unanimously voiced their strong opposition to Israel's settlement policy including, demolitions and confiscations, and including of EU and Member States funded projects. The EU urges Israel to reverse these decisions which run counter to international law and seriously threaten the two state solution.
Area C is part of the occupied Palestinian territory and part of any viable future Palestinian state. All EU activity in the West Bank is fully in line with international humanitarian law. The EU provides humanitarian assistance to communities in need in Area C in accordance with the humanitarian imperative. The EU also works with the Palestinian Authority to develop Area C and support Palestinian communities there.
The Office of the European Union Representative
Shadi Othman (02 5415 867, 0599 673 958); Inas Abu Shirbi (02 541 5 859, 0599 673 957)