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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Germany and Austria suspend Palestinian aid after Hamas attack

Austria and Germany have suspended tens of millions of euros in aid to Palestinians in response to Hamas’ deadly attack on Israel to prevent funds from reaching the wrong hands.

Both countries are reviewing their engagement with the Palestinian territories and plan to discuss this with Israel and international partners. They aim to promote peace in the region and demonstrate solidarity.

European Union foreign ministers are convening an emergency meeting to assess the situation, including a review of development aid. The EU had allocated 296 million euros for the Palestinian people in the 2022 budget.

Europe is a significant source of development aid for Palestinians, and these decisions may have significant consequences if other nations follow suit.

The United Nations estimates that approximately 2.1 million people in the Palestinian territories, including 1 million children, require humanitarian assistance.

Austria is suspending around 19 million euros ($20 million) for several projects, while Germany is currently not making payments for bilateral aid projects as it reevaluates its engagement with the Palestinian territories.

Germany had earmarked 250 million euros in development funds for bilateral projects for the current and next year.

German politicians have emphasized their country’s commitment to Israel and its security due to its historical responsibility for the Holocaust. Some German politicians have opposed the decision to suspend aid, arguing that it should continue to reach those in need, not just the Palestinian Authority.

As for other European countries, Italy and the UK have not indicated plans to follow Austria and Germany in suspending aid to Palestinians at this time.

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