EU funding conditions violate Palestinian law: PNN Report

PNN/ Bethlehem/

The European Union is still fixed on its position regarding the conditions it set regarding its funding of Palestinian projects for private institutions. The conditions include are the signing of a special paper to renounce what the EU called “terrorism.”

These policies include labeling a number of Palestinian political and resistance factions, such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al-Aqsa-Brigade-Fatah, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Popular Front –  General Command as terrorist groups and organizations.

In addition, the policies require Palestinian civil society to play the role of security accomplice against its people through the so-called procedures of “vetting” and “screening”.

In response, the Palestinian community rejected these conditions, saying they stresses that it represents a retreat from the European positions of supporting Palestine, as it violates international conventions and norms that it grants peoples the right to resist occupation by all means guaranteed by international legitimacy.

In this context, the Palestinian civil and official institutions affirm that they are taking escalatory measures to express the rejection of these conditions.

 EU withdraws projects after refusing to sign the conditions document

The director of Badil Center, Nidal Al-Azzeh, said in an interview with PNN that institutions of all kinds refuse to sign the annexes sent by the European Union, which include new conditions placed on funding provided by the union.

Nidal stressed the rejection of the annex that contained five Palestinian political forces, and considered them terrorist organizations, adding that they lost a $1.2 million worth project due to refusing to sign the conditions paper, which he says   affectes the Palestinian history, cause and people’s.

Erekat calls on the European Union to withdraw from the new financing conditions and recognize Palestine

In this context, the secretary of the PLO Executive Committee, Dr. Saeb Erekat, wrote to PNN in response to a question regarding such conditions, saying that  the EU should reconsider the new financing conditions that it placed on civil society institutions, to ensure equal, impartial and transparent access to financing opportunities for all.

Erekat explained that his request was addressed in an official message to the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Joseph Borrell, stressing that the new funding provision related to the application of restrictive measures to all contracting parties in the European Union raises the concern of the Palestinian community in all its spectrum and in particular the Palestinian organizations that serve the public The Palestinian people without discrimination in line with international legal standards.

Erekat condemned the establishment of such restrictions that directly affect Palestinian rights pursuant to international law, and in particular the right to self-determination, stressing that they are not in line with the European Union’s commitment to a two-state solution and peace and stability in the region.

Erekat also rejected all attempts to criminalize the Palestinian national struggle and branded it “terrorism”, and renewed his request from the European Union to retract the new financing terms, support for a two-state solution and recognize the state of Palestine on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Civil Society Institutions reject the conditions 

Researcher Jibreel Mohamed from Bisan Center said that there is an attack on the Palestinian civil society to fully normalize it in a way that is compatible with the European foreign agendas, and that this is the result of the presence and incursion of extreme right-wing trends within the European Parliament, which was subject to Israeli influences, and this matter brings us back to the time of the American conditions that were placed on American funding for Palestinian institutions that left the Palestinian territories a long time ago and this funding was cut off, and today the same applies to European funding.

“This all reflects the fragility of the Palestinian position and the position of Palestinian civil society institutions,” Jibreel said. “What is required of us here is that we owe ourselves in exchange for receiving funding, and thus reach a state of defection for the financier on the pretext that this does not affect! Rather, it affects if we accept and become slaves of the financier, rather than being the owners of a national and national vision aimed at developing Palestinian society.”

For his part, activist Munther Amira, head of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, said that signing the financing terms for European Union projects is treachery, explaining that civil society institutions are a new stronghold on the way to falling on the path of money for dignity

He pointed out that signing an annex on new conditions for the European Union’s financing of civil institutions is “humiliating” as the conditions renounce the right of the Palestinian people to resist the occupation and are considered long years of struggle.

Amira also stressed that silence on the institutions that signed the document is a failure, and a boycott must be imposed on every institution that signs the document under the title of dignity more expensive than money, stressing that the official authorities and organizations are still not serious and almost non-existent, we need a more serious position and The European Union must clarify this position by all means and without hesitation.

Conditions serve the occupation, destroy civil society institutions

Eman Hammouri, a member of the Board of Directors of the Palestinian Performing Arts Network, said in an interview with PNN: “We, as a network of performing arts, reject conditional financing that tries to undermine our work as private institutions. We provide services that the Authority cannot provide and cover, and therefore this matter affects our ability to continue providing these services to society. ”

European conditions violate Palestinian laws

Advocate Salah Ajarma, a member of the International Network for Refugees Rights, told PNN that these conditions and this security network contradict the Palestinian Basic Law and the structure of forming civil society institutions in Palestine, and this is a clear and explicit interference in the laws and constitutions of the states of Palestine, and we reject these conditions since they are inconsistent with the Palestinian Basic Law .

Ajarmah added in an interview with PNN  that foreign institutions established in Palestine that obtain their licenses from the Palestinian Ministry of the Interior and accepting the terms of conditional funding. The Palestinian Authority to prevent or stop the licensing of any international institution that signs these terms.

Al-Ajarmah also stressed the importance of preventing any international institution working on Israeli licenses in Jerusalem from working if it accepted the new conditions, considering its signing of the conditions as a departure from the popular will and identifying with the plans of the Israeli occupation, stressing that what is required is not to deal with all projects funded by the European Union and not to accept them on its terms.