In the words of Aid Watch Palestine (AWP), an independent grassroots Palestinian initiative in Gaza, aid to Palestine needs to be based on the following 3 CORE principles:
#1: PRIORITIZE PALESTINIAN SELF-DETERMINATION:
- Every aid decision should be made with the objective of ending the occupation, fragmentation, colonization and dispossession of the entire Palestinian people and to enable Palestinians to access all their land and other natural resources.
- The goal of self-determination must not be postponed or subsumed by the urgency of meeting immediate “humanitarian” needs.
- To promote territorial integrity, Gaza should not be treated as a separate entity from, or as a sub-entity of, the West Bank.
- Aid organisations must refuse to be complicit in maintaining Israel’s illegal blockade on Gaza and other violations of international law.
#2: LET LOCALS LEAD USING LOCAL SYSTEMS AND RESOURCES:
- All reconstruction and development funding should go through Palestinian systems to local [Gazan aid organisations]. Only when local [Gazan aid organisations] are unable to fullfill needs (using objective criteria and transparent decisions) should international [aid organisations] be mobilized as partners of local Gaza actors.
- An [independent] Palestinian national technical committee should be created to lead the process in a competent and transparent manner that is accountable to the broader population and other stakeholders [both, local and overseas].
#3: PREVENT AID TO PALESTINIANS FROM ENRICHING ISRAEL:
- Aid funds must not enrich Israel, potentially funding future violations.
- No aid fund should be used to purchase aid supplies from, or to pay taxes, fees or “security-related” charges to the Israeli government or to any Israeli company or NGO, except those that have explicitly and consistently recognized full Palestinian rights and worked against Israeli colonization and policies.
Due the sanctions on Gaza, these are but a handful of key challenges ahead but important mileposts aid and humanitarian organisations need to struggle towards.