BRUSSELS (Dec. 16)
The European Community has announced it will provide about $6 million in aid to eight private hospitals in East Jerusalem and the Israeli-administered territories, which have been deprived by the Persian Gulf crisis of their usual sources of assistance.
The funds will be channeled through the Dutch Red Cross in cooperation with the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross.
Two of the hospitals are in East Jerusalem, two in Nablus and the others in Gaza, Hebron, El-Bireh and Beit Jala.
They lost their remittances from Kuwait when that country was invaded by Iraq on Aug. 2.
Subsequently, other major donors in the Gulf states cut them off to protest Palestinian support for Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, notably by Yasir Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization.
The E.C., meanwhile, is planning up to $17 million in general assistance to the administered territories by 1992.
It is acting in response to remarks by Abel Matutes of Spain, the E.C.’s commissioner in charge of Mediterranean affairs, who described economic conditions in the territories since the Gulf crisis began as “disastrous.”
Meanwhile, the heads of state of the 12 E.C. member nations reaffirmed their pledge to help the “economic and social development of the Palestinian people” in a statement they issued Saturday at the close of their European summit conference in Rome.
The E.C. summit was scheduled for Rome because Italy now holds the group’s rotating six-month chairmanship.
The leaders of the 12 E.C. nations also agreed in principle to give the Soviet Union $2.4 billion in emergency food and medical assistance.