International aid to the Palestinians won't be effective unless Israel eases travel restrictions that have caused hundreds of millions in aid projects to stall and sent the cost of ongoing aid programs soaring, an international aid group warned on the eve of a Palestinian donors' conference.
Israel says the restrictions in the West Bank and Gaza are necessary to ensure its security. But with 80 percent of Palestinians depending on aid, Oxfam International urged donor states to challenge Israel on its policies at their meeting in Paris next week.
"It is not enough simply to plow more money into Palestine - foreign governments and the Palestinian Authority must increase the pressure on the Israeli government to lift the blockade of Gaza and make it possible for people in the West Bank to go about their business," Oxfam head Jeremy Hobbs said in a news release.
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