EU to review development aid for Palestinians

Following the attacks by the radical Islamic Hamas organisation against Israel, a dispute has flared up over development aid for the Palestinians. EU Council President Charles Michel warned against suspending financial aid after EU Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi announced a halt to payments, but then backpedalled. The EU Commission has now announced that it will review financial assistance for Palestine. Commentators are also at odds over the issue.

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Hospodářské noviny (CZ) /

Europe must take resolute action

Hospodářské noviny demands an immediate end to EU aid for the Palestinians:

“When a civilised person is faced with the choice of collectively punishing the Palestinians or risking some of the money falling into the hands of beastly terrorists who blew up a music festival, they will always choose collective punishment. ... Nevertheless, the concern that the EU is not acting decisively is justified. It already stopped supporting the Palestinians when Hamas came to power in 2006. But it resumed its aid deliveries when the Abbas government was installed in the West Bank, and money also flowed once more into Hamas-controlled Gaza. We now see one of the things it was used for.”

Kurier (AT) /

Don't make the situation even worse

The deliveries of development aid to the Palestinians must not be halted, urges Kurier:

“It is already the case that 80 percent of Palestinians in Gaza cannot survive without international assistance. Now, amidst Israeli retaliatory strikes and with electricity, diesel, and food deliveries suspended, this aid is even more vital. Up to now Austria's contributions have been purely humanitarian: medicine, water supplies, education. To cut off this aid would only exacerbate the situation - not only in Gaza but also in the West Bank.”

El Mundo (ES) /

Speak with one voice

El Mundo calls for more credibility from the EU:

“Europe has once again demonstrated its internal divisions and inability to respond collectively to the Hamas attack on Israel. The wavering approach indicates improvisation and lack of convergence, just like the indecisiveness in sending Leopard tanks to Ukraine or the lack of coordination in the early stages of the pandemic. ... The EU must speak with one voice if it wants to be credible. Suspending aid to the Palestinians would have been a mistake, confusing terrorists with the civilian population. They are the victims of these criminals.”