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EU budgets 7m. euros for PA development of Area C
By TOVAH LAZAROFF
03/22/2013
European aid coordinated with Israeli steps to provide infrastructure for Palestinian villages in area under IDF control.
The EU this week provided financial and technical support to develop Palestinian villages in the West Bank’s Area C that is under Israeli military control.

Their efforts are coordinated with Israeli steps to provide master plans and infrastructure for Palestinian villages in that area. In the past two years Israel has spent millions of shekels on that effort.

All Israeli settlements are located in Area C. Israeli and Palestinian activists believe that all development in the area is part of the ongoing battle for final sovereignty.

However, the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria says that it has a responsibility to help Palestinians in Area C develop their communities.

Earlier this week, the European Union approved an action plan that sets out its relations for the next five years with the Palestinian Authority.

Although the text of the plan has yet to be published, the EU has already reported that part of it focuses on helping Palestinians development of Area C. To that end, it has this week allocated 7 million euros to the PA, through a technical agreements signed with Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

“This agreement is aimed at supporting the Palestinian presence and promoting social and economic development in Area C, which we all know is of crucial importance for the economic viability of Palestine,” EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said.

According to an EU official, the push to develop Area C is in line with the May 2012 conclusion of its External Relations Council, composed of member states’ foreign ministers, which said that socioeconomic development had to be advanced there to preserve the two-state solution.

According to the same official, the money will help in the construction of basic infrastructure for water and sanitation, as well as to increase agriculture production.

The official said the funds will also allow the Palestinian communities in Area C to develop master plans to cover their demographic and socioeconomic needs.
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