"If we are gathered here today it is not for charity, it is for supporting a political objective" said High Representative Federica Mogherini before a meeting of the International Donor Group for Palestine in support of the Palestinian economy, the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee.
The political objective of the EU and the international community is to continue supporting a two-state solution. For this, the High Representative announced over €22 million of additional humanitarian assistance in support of the most vulnerable people in Gaza and in the West Bank.
"Our economic assistance to the Palestinians cannot be separated from this political objective of the two-state solution. I want to be clear about this: a political two-state solution cannot be substituted by endless technical and financial assistance and capacity building. It would simply not work," Mogherini added.
The EU is the biggest and most reliable donor to the Palestinians and the support "will continue, because Palestinians have the right to live in dignity and because we Europeans know very well that this money is an investment in security for the Palestinians, for the Israelis, for the region and for ourselves," the High Representative said.
Twenty-five years after Oslo, the very possibility of two states is being dismantled, as the High Representative acknowledged. Settlement expansion continues while international mechanisms that protect the Palestinians in occupied territory are forcefully removed. Palestinian divisions continue to harm Palestinian unity and democracy. The political dialogue between the two parties is simply non-existent at the moment, while in both societies, both in Palestine and in Israel, the space for faith in the possibility of peace and security and a two-state solution is shrinking. The two-state solution, however, remains the only realistic way forward.
"We believe there is a solution to this conflict and it is the two-state solution. It requires our support and this is why we are here. It also requires political will. This is something that from our side is there for sure, but obviously, we also need this political will and this commitment from others," Mogherini said.
The Ad Hoc Liaison Committee was created because of the Oslo agreements to pave the way towards the creation of two states in the Holy Land, with a Palestinian State living in peace alongside the State of Israel. European Union assistance to Palestinians has been more than €300 million every year for the last 15 years. In 2018, over €145 million went to the Gaza Strip where the humanitarian and economic crisis is the most acute.