The European Union is tightening its conditions for financial aid to the Palestinians following the Gaza war, as it wants to ensure that recipients do not incite hatred, violence, or anti-Semitism. This was revealed by Vice Commission President Valdis Dombrovskis after an audit report showed no indication that EU money had directly or indirectly flowed to the radical Islamic Hamas. However, there are concerns that some recipients may have taken part in hate speech and “glorification of terror,” with 8 million euros of the 331 million euros allocated for this year suspected to be used for such activities. Brussels has demanded “further information” from local partners about a further 39 million euros.
The EU’s support for the Palestinians was put to the test following the brutal Hamas attack on Israel on October 7th, which resulted in 1,200 deaths and around 240 abductions. In response, the EU Commission submitted a report detailing aid amounting to 75 million euros for Gaza Strip classified as “unfeasible” and should be reallocated. Despite this setback, the EU remains committed to being the largest supporter of the Palestinians worldwide, with a total aid amount of almost 1.2 billion euros in the period from 2021 to 2024. It is worth noting that humanitarian aid was not affected by this review process.
Germany and other member states also put their national aid to the test after the Hamas attack on Israel, with the federal government recently releasing a good 90 million euros for Gaza Strip and Jordan. However, it is unclear when other areas will undergo similar reviews as State Secretary in the Federal Development Ministry Jochen Flasbarth stated that it should “soon be completed.”