EU and UK officials renewed their country’s positions in support of the two-state solution by supporting Palestinian projects in Area C of the West Bank.
The United Kingdom Government, the European Union and the Palestinian Authority inaugurated today the village council building and new internal roads in Khashem Al Daraj Bedouin village, south of Hebron governorate.
Khashem Al Daraj is located in Area C of the West Bank. The UK provided €310,000 to support building the social infrastructure in the village.
The ceremony, which was celebrated with the local community at Khashem Al Daraj, was attended by the Ministry of Local Government, the British Consulate General, the UK Department for International Development, the Office of the EU Representative and the Municipal Lending and Development Fund.
The village council building constitutes a permanent address for the local authority to serve the local community. The two kilometre internal roads now serve more than 1,000 beneficiaries. It will ease their movement and enhance community connectivity and integration.
”This project has improved the living conditions of the local community, connecting them to school and medical services and facilitating their movements, particularly benefiting women and children. The British Government is committed to enhancing Palestinian livelihoods in Area C, which is vital for the viability of the two State Solution” said the British Deputy Consul General Alison Hall.
”Area C is fundamental to the contiguity of the West Bank and for the viability of the future State of Palestine. The European Union development support covers a wide range of areas including infrastructure, private sector, environment, and agriculture.
Our social infrastructure interventions amount to around 15 million Euros of funds from the EU, Denmark, France, and the UK.
These joint European interventions aim to make a positive difference in the lives of Palestinians in Area C who are facing very difficult circumstances by promoting economic and social development” said the EU Head of Cooperation Alessandra Viezzer.
The EU and EU Member States, support to developmental interventions in Area C initiated and promoted by the Palestinian Ministry of Local Government and the rest of EU yearly 300 million Euros support to Palestine, are in line with the EU commitment towards achieving the two-state solution.
Head of the village council, Ibrahim al-Hathian said that the opening of the council building, along with the opening of a network of streets with a length of 1.8 kilometers is an important achievement for the village in particular and for the Palestinian people in general in this region suffering from Israeli targeting.
A l-Hathian thanked all the supporters from the Ministry of Local Government, which represents the Palestinian government, which nominated the village to the Municipal Lending Fund for the implementation of these projects. He also thanked Municipal Development and Lending Fund, the European Union and the British Government.
Director of Operations of the MDLF, eng. Hazem Al-Qawasmeh said that the fund works in areas C based on the priorities of local community, pointing out that the funding comes from European countries through the European Union.
Al-Qawasmeh also stressed that the fund helped develop work plans to identify by the village needs and priorities through advisers provided by (MDLF), saying that the Municipal Fund completed 60 projects in Area C, financed by the EU or through several countries, headed by France, Denmark and Britain. The projects will be worth 20 million Euros by the end of the 2019.
Israeli plans to annexing Area C, which represents 64% of the West Bank, calls for necessary action so that Palestinians be able to face Netanyahu government’s plans by strengthening the steadfastness of our people in these areas, Al-Qawasmeh added.
To his part, Local Government Ministry Director general in Hebron, Rashid Awad said that the ministry chose Khashm Al-Daraj village to be part of the projects as a recognition of its strategic importance, adding that the village is located in the southernmost part of Hebron and is inhabited by a group of Bedouin surrounded by Israeli settlements.
Any visitor to the village feels the limited sources of income for citizens who make a living from raising livestock in this desert region, which means the need to strengthen their steadfastness and support and the development of their regions Awad said .