EU Stops Development Aid To Palestine After Hamas
EU foreign ministers are to hold emergency talks Tuesday on the situation in Israel and Gaza (File)
The EU has halted development aid payments to the Palestinians and is placing 691 million euros ($728 million) of support "under review" after the Hamas assault on Israel, Brussels said Monday.
"The scale of terror and brutality against Israel and its people is a turning point. There can be no business as usual," European Union Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi posted on social media.
"As the biggest donor of the Palestinians, the European Commission is putting its full development portfolio under review, worth a total of EUR 691m," he added, in a message confirmed as accurate by a commission spokesman.
Oliver Varhelyi said the move meant "all payments immediately suspended. All projects put under review. All new budget proposals, including for 2023 postponed until further notice. Comprehensive assessment of the whole portfolio."
EU foreign ministers are to hold emergency talks Tuesday on the situation in Israel and Gaza after the unprecedented attack by Hamas Islamist militants.
Incitement to hatred, violence and glorification of terror have poisoned the minds of too many," Oliver Varhelyi said. "We need action and we need it now.
The EU announced in February that it was contributing 296 million euros for the 2022 budget year to help the Palestinian Authority pay civil servant salaries, pensions, medical services and fund infrastructure projects.
The bloc says it would provide "up to 1.177 billion euros in financial support from 2021 to 2024".
An European Commission spokeswoman insisted earlier on Monday EU aid "does not fund Hamas or any other terrorist organisation activities, either directly or indirectly".
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