The European Union has suspended funding for the Palestinian Authority due to the Hamas attack on Israel. An extraordinary meeting of foreign ministers will be held on Tuesday, which will be devoted to the crisis in the Middle East.
The European Union has blocked all financial instruments it has provided to Palestine so far. EU Enlargement Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi announced that the European Commission is reviewing its entire development portfolio – totaling €691 million – and immediately suspending all payments. “The foundations of peace, tolerance and coexistence must now be addressed. Incitement to hatred, violence and the glorification of terror has poisoned the minds of too many people,” said the Hungarian commissioner. “We need action, and we need it now.”
Money for Palestine
Last year, the EU provided around €300 million to Palestinian entities and pledged a total of €1.8 billion in 2021-2024. This amount includes money given to the Palestinian Authority to help pay civil servants’ salaries and finance projects, as well as aid to refugees through United Nations agencies. Some non-governmental organizations were also financed with EU money.
EU countries will give their first political response to the proposal to suspend funding at a meeting of foreign ministers on Tuesday afternoon. The video meeting was convened by the EU External Action Service to discuss the rapidly developing situation in the Middle East.
The EU has previously faced criticism from Israeli officials over its funding of Palestinian organizations. On Monday, European Commission spokesman Eric Mamer said that “stringent checks are in place to ensure that there is no direct or indirect financing of Hamas.”
The EU, which supports a two-state solution in the Middle East, has long tried to manage the diverse views of its 27 member states on conflicts with Israel. France, the Nordic countries and Ireland have traditionally supported positions that other countries see as too pro-Palestinian.
Over the weekend, the European Commission headquarters was illuminated by the Israeli flag, and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen repeatedly spoke on Twitter about the EU’s steadfast support for Israel. Some MEPs and commentators criticized this move.
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