Buenos Aires, Thursday, May 19th of 1994
The PLO in Argentina says that the external economic support is essential
Palestine needs dollars (view)
By Suhail Hani
Representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization- PLO In the Argentine Republic
Generally, the Israelis manifested that they have won the wars, but they have not won peace. Undoubtedly, it is more difficult to make peace than war. We proposed peace and we coincided with the Israelis in that the Agreement signed in Washington on September 13th of 1993 is the unique possible way.
In spite of the violence of Hebron massacre in the hands of an Israeli terrorist; in spite of the attack performed in revenge to a bus with Israelis passengers done by a Palestinian extremist; in spite of the differences, of the comings and goings of the different Palestinian-Israeli work commissions, and in spite of the frantic and unbearable people who are against the process, the agreements are irreversible. This was proved after the signature in El Cairo last May 4th. But if this five-year period of transition does not result positive at an economic level, it will be a complete failure.
At the same time, it is impossible to carry out an effective economic development without independence.
This popular ambition was understood by the whole world which did not doubt in supporting the agreement and strengthen the reconstruction of Palestine. On October 1st of 1993, The United States, host country, called an international conference to finance Palestine. It had the presence of 43 countries – including Israel – and 2,000 million dollars were collected.
This cooperation was also manifested by England after the visit of the British secretary of the Foreign Office, Douglas Hurd, to the Gaza Strip at the beginning of this year. Hurd announced the help of his country in one hundred million dollars, including five million annually which will be conceded to the Division UNRWA of the UN for the Palestinian refugees.
On the other hand, Norway, the country where PLO-Israel secret agreements took place, will contribute with its help to the supply of transport, electrification, running waters, health and education.
Italy, at the Washington conference, promised an annual help of 16 million dollars during the next five years. The Minister of Foreign Commerce of Holland, Ivonne Van Rooy, announced the construction of a floating port in Gaza Strip at the cost of 55 million dollars, and this country will cooperate in a 44%.
Besides, France and Italy are willing to build a port in Gaza, which will be added to this project.
The Cooperation Direction for Development and Humanitarian Help in Switzerland offered, after the agreements signed in Washington, an economic support of 60 million Swiss francs during the period 1994-1998.
Also Spain, Germany, France and Japan have summed up to the Palestinian development in the social and economic areas, as it was promised by the Argentine Republic by means of an express disposition of President Dr. Carlos Menem. This was manifested personally by his Chancellor Guido Di Tella to President Yasser Arafat at Tunis.
The truth is that Palestine, with a devastated structure, requires absolutely everything for its reconstruction: water, electrification, communication, industries, airports, roads, housings. As an example, the case of the housing is catastrophic, because it is necessary to build 130 thousand houses, According to the Economic Department of the PLO, the reconstruction will demand, during the next five years, an amount of 13,500 million dollars. The challenge is already in the hands of our people and in the commitment of the international community. But, basically, it will be necessary the Palestinian-Israeli cooperation.