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EU puts all Palestinian aid under review: ‘There can be no business as usual’

“The scale of terror and brutality against Israel and its people is a turning point,” said the commissioner for the E.U. neighborhood.

The European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, March 20, 2013. Photo by Botond Horvath/Shutterstock.
The European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, March 20, 2013. Photo by Botond Horvath/Shutterstock.

The European Union has put all of its development funding to the Palestinian territories on hold following Hamas’s offensive against Israel.

“All payments immediately suspended. All projects put under review. All new budget proposals, including for 2023, postponed until further notice,” said Olivér Várhelyi, the European commissioner for the E.U. neighborhood.

“The scale of terror and brutality against Israel and its people is a turning point. There can be no business as usual,” Várhelyi posted to X.

In a press conference on Monday, Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lior Haiat praised the current displays of support for Israel but said he couldn’t understand how the E.U. financed Palestinian textbooks that are “full of antisemitism and incitement for violence and terrorism against Jews … and 80 years after the Holocaust.”

“Those textbooks are the root of the Palestinian terror against Israel. Young people are being taught and educated to hate Jews and to murder Jews,” he said. “And those are the textbooks that the European Union is paying for. So I’m very happy with the decision to review those payments.”

The E.U.’s decision follows similar ones by Austria and Germany.

On Monday, Vienna said it was suspending its $20 million in aid to Palestinians.

“The extent of the terror is so horrific … that we cannot go back to business as usual. We will therefore put all payments from Austrian development cooperation on ice for the time being,” Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg told Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) radio.

Germany’s Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Svenja Schulze said on Sunday evening that the government was reassessing its aid and needed to review “its entire engagement for the Palestinian territories.”

The European Parliament recently expressed its growing concern with E.U. funds being used to support Palestinian incitement. In July, it passed resolutions condemning the Palestinian Authority for inciting violence, antisemitism and hate via its school textbooks.

The resolutions demanded the “deletion of all antisemitic references and removal of examples that incite hatred and violence.”

Unlike previous resolutions, the resolutions explicitly linked E.U.-funded textbooks to the “rising involvement of teenagers in terrorist attacks.”

The European Parliament insisted that the E.U. freeze its funding to the P.A. until its curriculum aligned with UNESCO standards and called on E.U. authorities to prevent funding “to activities that incite hatred and violence,” in line with the E.U. strategy for combating antisemitism.

It marked the second time in two months that the European Parliament voted on resolutions condemning P.A. incitement, the third time since December 2022, and the fourth consecutive year it has done so. 

The resolutions were supported by members of parliament from across the political spectrum in Brussels.

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