Israeli-Palestinian conflict: France opposes suspension of EU aid to Palestinian people

France is "not in favour of suspending aid that directly benefits the Palestinian people", the French Foreign ministry said on Tuesday, adding that it had "made this known to the European Commission". The statement comes after European Commissioner Olivier Varhelyi said on Monday that all payments of development aid would be suspended.

Várhelyi announced the suspension of development aid to the Palestinians. All the Commission's current programmes, totalling 691 million euros, would be re-evaluated, he said on X, formerly Twitter.

However, the European Commission will not suspend its emergency humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza and the occupied West Bank in response to the Hamas attack on Israel, Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarcic said on Monday night. ​

"While I strongly condemn the Hamas terrorist attack (on Israel), it is imperative to protect civilians and respect international humanitarian law. This aid "will continue as long as needed," he said.

Unease and disagreement

European emergency aid is vital for many people in the poverty-stricken Gaza Strip. Ireland has asked for clarification on the aid freeze. At the same time, Spain's government on Monday expressed its "unease" and "disagreement" following the apparent decision to suspend European aid to the Palestinians after the Hamas attack. Now France has joined them in expressing its concern.

On Monday evening, the Belgian minister for Development Cooperation, Caroline Gennez, announced that the country would not suspend humanitarian aid to the Palestinians. She said Belgium would continue to follow the situation closely, and the government would further define its position in consultation with other EU member states.

European Union foreign ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday to discuss the situation in Israel and the region. They will consider the EU's response and next steps, including a review of development aid aspects.



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