(JNS.org) The European Union (EU) announced Tuesday that it has approved a new $274.1 million aid package for the Palestinians.
According to the EU, $184 million will be given directly to the Palestinian Authority (PA) for delivering health and education services, helping poor families, and providing financial assistance to hospitals in eastern Jerusalem. The other $89 million will be given to theUnited Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
“The European Union renews its concrete commitment to the Palestinians,” the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said in a statement. “Through this package, the EU supports the daily lives of Palestinians in the fields of education and health, protecting the poorest families and also providing the Palestinian refugees with access to essential services. These are tangible steps on the ground that can improve the lives of Palestinian people.”
But Mogherini also called on Palestinians institutions to “become more transparent, more accountable, and more democratic.”
While the EU’s announcement referred to the PA as “Palestine,” it also noted that “this designation shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual positions of the [EU] Member States on this issue.”
Over the past few years, a number of EU member nations have passed symbolic resolutions calling on their governments to recognize Palestinian statehood. Sweden is the only EU member state to officially recognize Palestinian statehood on the government level.