The European Union and Denmark have joined forces with the Palestinian Authorities to inaugurate two new public buildings in Area C villages near Bethlehem. Two multipurpose buildings, in the al Ma’sarah and Marah Mi’allah villages within the Bethlehem Governate region, were inaugurated on Wednesday at a ceremony jointly attended by European Union representatives, the Representative Office of Denmark in Ramallah, the Ministry of Local Government, Bethlehem Governorate, and the Municipal Lending and Development Fund, and representatives of both local councils. Covering more than 630 m² between them and serving more than 2,000 Palestinians, the buildings are designed to support the local population by providing a location for the village councils to meet, as well as offering a space for local and public community events. “By investing into projects in Area C, we invest in the future State of Palestine,” Simone Petroni, EU Head of Political Section said.
“Projects like the ones we inaugurated today will help bring a positive change to the lives of Palestinian families in this area. The EU will continue to support projects promoting economic development and improving the quality of life of Palestinian communities in Area C in areas such as private sector, environment and agriculture.” The EU donated €310,000 and Denmark €215,000 to support the building projects, which are part of the EU and Member States’ commitment to supporting development in Area C. “Denmark is proud to have funded the construction of the multi-purpose hall in Marah Mi’allah,” Nathalia Feinberg, Head of Mission, Danish Representative Office in Ramallah said. “It marks Denmark’s continued strong commitment to the development of Area C in the West Bank, alongside our close partners in the EU and the Palestinian Authority. We believe such support is vital – both for the everyday life of Palestinian citizens, and for the prospects for peace and a future Palestinian state.” Their inauguration comes a month after the EU, together with European Development Partners Norway and Switzerland, joined forces with representatives of the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian civil organizations to launch the Joint European Roadmap for Engagement with Civil Society in Palestine. The Roadmap document emphasizes the importance of bolstering Civil Society Organizations in the Palestinian territories, in an environment in which their activities are often squeezed by the Government of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and by Hamas in Gaza.


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