Sanctions no longer justified, Palestinian official says

March 19, 2007 at 1:40 pm Leave a comment

Ramallah – International sanctions imposed on the Palestinian government are no longer justified, new Palestinian Information Minister Mustafa Barghouti said Monday.

The government programme presented Saturday by Prime Minister Ismail Haniya is ‘very flexible, very democratic and very peaceful. There is no justification for keeping the embargo,’ Barghouti, who also serves as government spokesman, told a news conference in Ramallah.

Defending the programme, he said it called for calm, accepted a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders and ‘honours,’ not only ‘respects’ passed interim peace deals calling for a two-state solution.

‘The government has met every condition and provided every necessary step to end the siege,’ Barghouti, of the Independent Palestine faction, said.

He called on Israel to reciprocate these Palestinian steps and release what he said amounted to 800 million dollars in custom duties owed to the Palestinian Authority (PA).

This money, said Barghouti, makes up almost 70 per cent of the Palestinian budget.

Israel collects at least 50 million dollars a month in customs on goods imported to the Palestinian autonomous areas via its ports and airport.

But it froze the money after the radical Islamic Hamas movement took office one year ago, citing fears it would used to fund militants.

Barghouti is one of several independents in the Hamas-led unity government, which in addition to 12 Hamas members includes also six Fatah officials.

http://news.monstersandcritics.com/middleeast/news/article_1279384.php/Sanctions_no_longer_justified_Palestinian_official_says

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