Dutch MPs want to stop subsidising Palestinian Authority

17th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

The Dutch parliament want the Netherlands to stop subsidising the Palestinian Authority if it fails to take measures to end the glorification of terrorism. A motion put forward by two Christian parties the Christian Union and the orthodox SGP in the Dutch parliament today was supported by a majority of MPs.

MPs have also urged the cabinet to lobby for European Union subsidies to be stopped if no action is taken. The CU/SGP motion was supported by coalition parties, the conservative VVD and Christian Democrats, and by the Freedom Party.

The parties argue that in the Palestinian territories "there is a climate in which terrorist acts are encouraged rather than prevented". According to the five parties terrorism is not only glorified in schools but also in the streets where roads and squares are named after suicide bombers.

Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal told parliament he always brings the matter up with the Palestinian Authority. Although he thought withdrawing subsidies is a step too far. According to Christian Union MP Joël Voordewind the Netherlands gives 50 million euros to the Palestinian Authority and the European Union gives 200 million every year.

President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas is due to pay an official visit the Netherlands later this year. The Christian Union, Freedom Party and SGP want the government to postpone the visit until it is clear that action against glorifying terrorism has been taken, but the parties failed to rally the support of other parties in parliament.

Mr Voordewind called the position of the VVD and Christian Democrats "two-faced". He pointed out the Mahmoud Abbas' party Fatah still strives for the annihilation of the state of Israel.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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