The government has announced it will continue to provide taxpayer-funded aid to the Palestinian Authority, with a series of “critical changes” to how the system has previously been run.
In October the Secretary of State for International Development, Priti Patel, ordered a review of the funding procedure and froze about a third of Britain’s aid to the Palestinians while the review, undertaken in close collaboration with the Foreign Office, was carried out.
In a statement, the Department for International Development said that from now on, British aid will focus “solely on vital health and education services”, with funding going towards “the salaries of health and education public servants on a vetted list” only.
No more UK funding will be available to PA workers in Gaza, and Britain will assess the PA’s “fiscal and public financial management reforms” with targets set in order to secure future payments.
It is expected that British money will be used to pay salaries of up to 30,000 Palestinian teachers, doctors, nurses and midwives. The funds will be used to ensure around 25,000 Palestinian children continue their education, are immunised, and have medical consultations.
There will be up to £25m of DfID money sent to the PA in this financial year.
Paul Charney, Zionist Federation chairman, said: “The scandal of salaries for terrorists has been an issue that the Zionist Federation has campaigned on for a long time.
“Over the years, thousands of emails were sent to politicians – all of which were re-buffed by an apparently impenetrable shield of denial.
“Today’s dramatic shift in funding priorities means that finally DfID is acknowledging that there is a fundamental problem with the Palestinian Authority’s lack of accountability and support for violence.
“It remains to be seen if UK taxpayer money will make its way to the intended targets – doctors and teachers. But this is an important change in the UK’s attitude towards Palestinian aid, and we hope it will contribute to a change in the PA’s attitude as well.”
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