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Wolfensohn: West Shouldn’t Starve Palestinians Into Submission
Wolfensohn: West Shouldn’t Starve Palestinians Into Submission
At a news conference with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Australian-born Mr. Wolfensohn announced his resignation after a year as envoy of the Middle East "quartet": the US, UN, European Union and Russia.
Thursday, May 4,2006 00:00
by Maha Galal IkhwanWeb

At a news conference with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Australian-born Mr. Wolfensohn announced his resignation after a year as envoy of the Middle East "quartet": the US, UN, European Union and Russia.

Mr. Wolfensohn, who had frequently complained of being "disenfranchised" in his Gaza role and threatened to quit, left with a warning that the West should not consider trying to starve the Hamas-led Palestinians into submission. "I don’t think anyone in the quartet believes that to be the policy - although, sometimes, it is made to appear that that is what it is," he said. "I think that’s a losing gambit."

In his final report as envoy, he questioned the decision of Western powers to cut all but humanitarian aid to the Palestinian Government. After spending more than $US1 billion a year on assistance to the Palestinians, much of it to build government institutions and an economy needed to create a "viable Palestinian state," the report asked: "Will we now simply abandon these goals?"

The report also said the UN and non-governmental organizations would not be able to fill the void if Palestinian Authority institutions collapsed under Western pressure.
Mr. Wolfensohn had initially intended to leave the job in December but bowed to a request from the US that he stays on until after the Palestinian and Israeli elections.

Hamas praises Wolfensohn’s position

Hamas, through its spokesperson Mr. Sami Abu Zehri in a statement to Ikhwanweb, praised Mr. Wolfensohn’s position and his remarks during the joint press conference with Dr. Rice, U.S Secretary of State. Abu Zehri considered Mr. Wolfensohn remarks a testimony to the injustice suffered by Palestinians due to the vicious economic embargo by the West. Abu Zehri repeated Hamas warnings of serious repercussions in the whole region if the Hamas government is doomed to failure.

tags: Wolfensohn / Gaza / Hamas Government / UN / European Union / US / Gaza Siege
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