The European Union has announced that it will be imposing stricter conditions on its financial aid to the Palestinians, following the brutal Hamas attack on Israel in October which resulted in the deaths of 1,200 people and the abduction of around 240 others. According to a high-ranking EU official, Brussels wants to ensure that recipients of the money are not inciting hatred, violence or anti-Semitism.
In response to the attack, the EU submitted a report on its aid amounting to 331 million euros for the current year. No European funds went directly or indirectly to the radical Islamic Hamas. However, there is suspicion that some recipients may have taken part in hate speech and “glorification of terror,” with 8 million euros allocated for this purpose. Brussels has demanded further information from local partners about an additional 39 million euros.
Aid worth 75 million euros for the Gaza Strip was classified as “unfeasible” and should be reallocated. Despite this, humanitarian aid was not affected by the review. Germany and other member states have also put their national aid to the test after the Hamas attack on Israel, with the federal government releasing 90 million euros for the Gaza Strip and Jordan. The review for other areas is expected to be completed soon, according to State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth.
The EU sees itself as one of the largest supporters of Palestinians worldwide, with total aid amounting to almost 1.2 billion euros in the period from 2021 to 2024. Despite this support, tensions between Israel and Palestine remain high following decades of conflict and ongoing disputes over territorial issues such as Jerusalem and settlements in occupied territory.