The letter noted that "both the EU and US have designated the political and military wings of Hamas as terrorist organizations,which are at this time daily firing missiles into Israel." 

Samuels considered that "Ms. Andersen's statement that Gaza has a fiscal crisis 'could only be facetious'. 

However, her comment, 'recognizing that until fundamental changes are made that enable freer movement of people and greater access to resources, efforts to improve investments will be frustrated', requires explanation." 

He asked:"Is she arguing for regime change in Gaza?", continuing "if, on the other hand, her remark implies World Bank criticism of Israeli anti-terror security provisions, our Centre calls for appropriate steps." 

"Until full clarification, we fear that the World Bank will be perceived as endorsing terrorism and, thereby, encourage further violence in the region", concluded Samuels. 

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre is an international Jewish human rights organization with a worldwide membership of 440,000. Established in 1977, with headquarters in Los Angeles, it draws the lessons of the Holocaust to the analysis of contemporary issues of prejudice and discrimination. The Centre is an NGO in consultative status to the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Organization of American States and the Council of Europe.

For further information, please contact Dr Shimon Samuels at +33.609.7701.58