The European Commission has said it is immediately suspending development aid payments to Palestine following the Hamas attack.
According to the British news agency Reuters, the commission says it is reviewing its $72.9 million in development aid for Palestine.
Earlier, Germany and Austria also said that they are also stopping their aid to Palestine. However, Italy says that no decision to stop aid is currently under consideration.
Europe is the main source of aid to the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories. Where according to the United Nations, 2.1 million people are in need of humanitarian aid. Among these 21 lakh people, 1 million are children.
It is not clear whether the suspension of development aid will also apply to this humanitarian aid.
The European Commission did not respond to a Reuters request for clarification.
The European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, Oliver Verheli, said in a social media post that “the scale of terrorism and brutality against Israel is a turning point.”
“Things can’t go on like this anymore.”
“All new budget proposals for aid to Palestine have been suspended until further notice,” said Oliver Verheli.
He said that the foundations of peace, tolerance and peaceful co-existence must be considered now.
He said that ‘incitement to hatred, sanctification of violence and terrorism has poisoned the minds of many people.’
“We want action to happen and to be quick.”
EU foreign ministers will discuss the current situation between Israel and Palestine during an emergency meeting on Tuesday, which will also discuss the suspension of aid.
According to the EU’s 2022 budget proposals, the total amount of aid to the Palestinian people amounts to 296 million euros.
No one in the European Commission, Germany or Austria has made a distinction between Gaza under Hamas. And the West Bank under Mahmoud Abbas for the suspension of aid.
Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg has said that Austria is stopping aid to Palestine, which is 19 million euros.
Conservatives in the neutral Austrian ruling coalition have been among the most supportive of Israel in the EU in recent years.
The Israeli flag was flow over the Austrian Chancellor’s office and the Foreign Ministry after the shocking attacks by Hamas.
Germany’s Development Minister Sonja Schulz says that no bilateral aid payments are currently being make to Palestine. And that Berlin is reviewing its engagement with the Palestinian territories.