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E.U. Decides it Will Give Palestinians Development Aid After All

Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images
Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images

By: Lillian Tweten, Daily Caller News Foundation

The European Union (EU) reversed its statement on Monday that it would cease funding to the Palestinians amidst the ongoing terrorist attacks by Hamas on Israel, The Associated Press reported.

Five hours after EU Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi said that the organization would cease sending its 691 million euros ($730 million) in development aid to Palestine because of the terrorist attacks, the EU Commission declared that “no payments would be suspended” to the nation, according to the AP. The EU currently funds Palestine authorities solely through its European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Operations (ECHO) program, which it stated would continue regardless of the nation’s support for the Hamas terrorist attacks, the EU Commission stated in a press release.

“The Commission unequivocally condemns the terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas against Israel over the weekend,” the commission wrote in the press release. “Following these events, the Commission is announcing today that it is launching an urgent review of the EU’s assistance for Palestine. . . the objective of this review is to ensure that no EU funding indirectly enables any terrorist organization to carry out attacks against Israel.”

“This review does not concern humanitarian assistance provided under European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO),” the commission added.

The EU Commission announced that it will “review” its funding to Palestine to determine if its support to the area needs to be “adjusted” because of “changed circumstances on the ground,” the press release said. The commission said that it does not provide any assistance outside of ECHO to Palestinian authorities, so any decisions it makes will not affect the money the area receives at the moment

ECHO gives aid to Palestinians, especially in the Gaza strip, by providing access to things like health care, water, electricity and education, according to the EU website. The EU provides aid to Palestine because of “settler violence” and “recurrent hostilities,” and refers to Israel on its Palestinian ECHO aid webpage as Palestinian land that is “Israeli-occupied.”

The EU uses ECHO to provide both humanitarian and civil services to the areas it supports and vows to exercise “neutrality” when providing assistance during conflict and war, according to the EU website. The EU does not provide ECHO aid to Israel, and has not announced any aid for the nation since the terrorist acts began despite condemning the attacks by Hamas.

The EU declined the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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