13 Apr 2006
The Muslim Council of Britain views with gravest concern the decision taken by the European Union to suspend direct aid to the Palestinian Authority. These measures will only add to the abject misery of the Palestinian people, 70% of whom already live below the internationally recognized poverty line.
`At a time when the Israeli government is firing 300 shells a day into Gaza to terrify Palestinian civilians and is openly talking about annexing yet more Palestinian land through a unilateral border declaration, which contravenes numerous UN resolutions and continually defies international legality, it is deplorable that the EU is seeking instead to ‘turn the screws’ on the Palestinian Authority in an attempt to extract even more concessions from the Palestinian people. The actions of the EU countries will send the message to the Palestinians and other peoples across the region that democracy in the Muslim world is only acceptable when it produces results that pleases the West,’ said Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary-General of the MCB.
The MCB urges the EU member states to urgently rescind their decision before a humanitarian catastrophe befalls the Occupied Territories.
The MCB fully supports the calls by the Arab League and the International Union of Muslim Scholars for Muslims everywhere to give generously to the Palestinian people in this time of need. We urge the EU to respect the democratic choice of the Palestinian people and accept the call of the Palestinian Authority for unconditional dialogue based on mutual respect.[ENDS]