Quarterly Updates for (16 May 2017 — 15 Aug 2017)

There were only a handful of announcements of new international aid for the Palestinians this quarter. UNRWA unveiled only 4 new donations: Mercy USA for Aid and Development contributed (6/20) $300,000 to support education programs for visionimpaired students in Gaza; Islamic Relief USA donated (6/9) $1.96 m. for refugee children in Gaza; the EU announced (6/7) an $82 m. (approximately $97 m.) donation to UNRWA’s core budget in 2017; and the Kuwait Patients Helping Fund Society contributed (5/21) $200,000 for Gazans with noncommunicable diseases. The same day that the $82 m. donation was announced, the EU and UNRWA also agreed to administer EU support for the agency through 2020. The EU also contributed (8/3) approximately $24 m. to the payment of the PA’s civil servants and pensioners in 7/2017, effectively subsidizing the continuing operation of govt. functions. Separately, the World Bank announced (7/28) $43 m. in new grants to improve living conditions and expand opportunities in the oPt, and Danish FM Anders Samuelsen pledged (5/25) $80 m. to the PA in support of its National Policy Agenda (see “Intra-Palestinian Dynamics” above).

Also of note: During Samuelsen’s visit to Israel and the oPt, PM Netanyahu asked (5/17) the Danish minister to stop supporting Palestinian organizations and NGOs that incite violence against Israelis and promote the BDS movement. When Samuelsen returned to Denmark, the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it had begun a comprehensive review of its support for NGOs in the oPt (Haaretz, 5/30). “We must be sure that Danish aid helps to advance human rights in the Palestinian territories in a positive manner,” the statement read. “It is possible that in the wake of the examination we will be forced to stop our support of a number of Palestinian organizations. Until this examination is complete we won’t sign any new grants for Palestinian organizations.” On 6/2, the ministry released another statement, this time announcing the suspension of an $8 m. pledge to support 24 Palestinian NGOs.

There was no meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Comm. this quarter.