No backtracking on EU aid to Palestine, payments to continue
EU clarifies its stance and ensures continued humanitarian aid to Palestine amid security concerns
In a clarification, the European Union (EU) said payments will continue for Palestinians after one of its officials claimed that all of the bloc's development aid would be suspended in the wake of the the Hamas militant group's attack on Israel.
In a series of social media posts on Monday, Oliver Varhelyi, the European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, said the Commission will be suspending all Palestinian funding until further review in light of the 7 October attack, reports CNN.
In response to his remarks, the European Commission said it is "launching an urgent review of the EU's assistance for Palestine", but "this review does not concern humanitarian assistance provided under European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)".
"In addition to the existing safeguards, the objective of this review is to ensure that no EU funding indirectly enables any terrorist organization to carry out attacks against Israel," it said in a statement.
The Commission also said that it "unequivocally condemns the terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas against Israel over the weekend".
Following Varhelyi's comments, Janez Lenarc, the European Commissioner for Crisis Management, said humanitarian aid for Palestinians will indeed continue, CNN reported.
"While I most strongly condemn the terrorist attack by Hamas, it is imperative to protect civilians and respect international humanitarian law.
"EU humanitarian aid to Palestinians in need will continue as long as needed," the official added
EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell also reiterated on Monday that the review of the EU assistance for Palestine announced by the European Commission "will not suspend the due payments".
Published: 10 Oct 2023, 9:59 AM