The European Union has announced plans to impose stricter conditions on financial aid to the Palestinians following the Gaza war. Vice Commission President Valdis Dombrovskis said that an audit report showed no evidence of EU money being used to support radical Islamic Hamas, but that Brussels wants to ensure in the future that recipients are not promoting hate speech or anti-Semitism.
The EU put its support for the Palestinians under scrutiny after a brutal Hamas attack on Israel in October, which killed 1,200 people and abducted around 240. The EU Commission released a report detailing aid worth €331 million for the current year, with no European funds going directly or indirectly to Hamas. However, there is concern that recipients may have taken part in hate speech and “glorification of terror,” with €8 million being allocated for this purpose. Brussels requested further information from local partners about an additional €39 million euros.
Aid worth €75 million for the Gaza Strip was classified as “unfeasible” and should be reallocated. Despite this setback, the EU remains the largest supporter of the Palestinians worldwide, with a total aid package of almost €1.2 billion euros for the period 2021 to 2024. Humanitarian aid was not affected by the review, and Germany and other member states also put their national aid through a similar process after the Hamas attack on Israel. State Secretary in the Federal Development Ministry Jochen Flasbarth stated that these reviews will soon be completed at an upcoming EU meeting in Brussels.
In conclusion, while some challenges remain regarding financial aid to Palestine, it is clear that Europe remains committed to supporting this region despite recent tensions between Israel and Gaza Strip. With continued efforts from both sides towards peace negotiations and cooperation, it is hopeful that these challenges can be overcome and sustainable solutions can be found for both regions involved.