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EU Commission suspends ‘all payments immediately’ to the Palestinians following the Hamas attack

ოლივერ ვარჰეი
09.10.23 20:00

European Union Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi said Monday the bloc is suspending “all payments immediately” to the Palestinians because of what he called the “scale of terror and brutality” during the attacks of Hamas against Israel.

The surprise announcement by Varhelyi came just hours after EU officials stressed that no EU money whatsoever was going to Hamas in the first place and that contacts had been frozen for 16 years. The EU considers Hamas a terror group.

Queries about what the move entailed and whether it would hit all humanitarian aid to Palestinians were not immediately answered.

Varhelyi said that “as the biggest donor of the Palestinians, the European Commission is putting its full development portfolio under review,” which he said amounted to 691 million euros. It was not immediately clear what funds were included and excluded.

Varhelyi said that the measures include that “all payments (be) immediately suspended. All projects put under review. All new budget proposals … postponed until further notice.”

EU foreign ministers are slated to meet in Muscat, Oman on Tuesday to discuss the situation and see what actions should be taken. Varhelyi’s announcement seemed to preempt the discussions.

“There can be no business as usual,” Varhelyi said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“The foundations for peace, tolerance and co-existence must now be addressed. Incitement to hatred, violence and glorification of terror have poisoned the minds of too many,” the commissioner wrote.

During an earlier briefing Monday, the EU Commission sought to draw a clear line between Hamas, which it considers a terrorist organization, and the Palestinian people, who are in need of humanitarian aid, AP reports.