TEAR Fund Press Release:
For Immediate Release: 19/04/06
TEAR Fund Supports Continued Humanitarian Aid to Palestine
Aid organisation TEAR Fund New Zealand is supporting the government’s decision to continue providing humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian territories.
"The plight of many of the Palestinian people is desperate,” says TEAR Fund Executive Director Stephen Tollestrup. “To deny them essential and basic humanitarian supplies will only alienate them from the West and motivate further radicalisation. It is a very serious situation and a critical time.”
TEAR Fund believes that if the West abandons Palestinians in the territories, militant financial backers may step in, providing assistance in order to strengthen alliances.
The New Zealand government supports humanitarian projects run by international agencies, rather than directly through the Palestinian Authority, a policy which TEAR Fund applauds.
“We also urge the government to support moderates, including President Mahmoud Abbas, by keeping dialogue open,” says Mr Tollestrup.
“By continuing to provide humanitarian assistance, New Zealand, in the future, may be in a position to support peace initiatives more directly.”
As a Christian development agency, TEAR Fund will continue providing assistance to a programme in Bethlehem for children traumatised by the conflict.