In response to the attack on Israel by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), Austria and Germany announced (Monday, 10/9/2023) that they had chosen to halt tens of millions of euros in help to the Palestinians. This was done to prevent the funds from going to the wrong party.
The two nations stated that they wished to examine their interactions with Israel and other international partners over the Palestinian territory. Berlin asserted that it wanted to demonstrate its support for the ceasefire and send a message of unity in the area.
The top diplomat for the European Union announced today that tomorrow’s emergency meeting of the bloc’s foreign ministers will be held to discuss the crisis and look at various parts of development funding. Within the parameters of the budgetary allocations made last year, the European Union provided 296 million euros in overall aid to the Palestinian people.
The decisions that will come out of this meeting may have significant ramifications if other nations decide to withhold aid because Europe is one of the key suppliers of development aid to the Palestinian people.
A million children, according to UN estimates, are among the 2.1 million people in the Palestinian territories who require humanitarian aid.
Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg announced earlier today the suspension of aid to the Palestinians, worth a total of about 19 million euros ($20 million) and allocated to a number of projects.
The ruling conservative coalition in Austria, which usually adheres to its neutrality, has adopted one of the most pro-Israel positions in the European Union in recent years.
The Israeli flag was raised over the Austrian Chancellor’s office and the Foreign Ministry after the surprise attack launched by Hamas from the Gaza Strip on Saturday.
“The scale of terrorism is so horrific… that we cannot return to business as usual,” Schallenberg told ORF radio station, in comments confirmed by his spokeswoman. “We will therefore freeze all Austrian development cooperation payments for the time being.”