In February Rami Hamdallah, the Palestinian prime minister, announced that the Palestinian Authority had received only half the usual aid pledged by donor countries in 2015.
This highlights an accelerating downward trend in international financial support for the PA. The European Union, which provides 45 per cent of all foreign aid to the authority, is not immune to that trend.
Partly this reduction is due to the pressure on EU budgets from the humanitarian crisis resulting from Islamic State and the Syrian war. But the exasperation of EU member states with Israel’s policy of accelerating settlement expansion and land expropriation in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, seen as eroding the two-state solution under the cover of endless negotiation, is also a factor. Recently even Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, castigated Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, for ‘failing to make a single step towards peace’.