Le Monde: EU to “Resume” (Increase) Aid to Palestinians

Posted by John Rosenthal

The following from a front page article in the weekend edition of Le Monde (dated 18-19 June) on the "resumption" of EU aid to the Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

On Friday, June 16th, the heads of state and of government of the 25 [member states of the EU] decided that 100 million euros in aid will be allocated to the Palestinians without passing through the Hamas government. The Europeans had suspended their aid payments two months ago, apart from purely humanitarian aid valued at some 154 million euros, in demanding that Hamas renounce violence, recognize the state of Israel, and respect the Oslo Accords [in order for the aid to be resumed].



Before its suspension, Union aid [to the Palestinians] totaled some 250 million euros.


It should be noted, firstly, that the EU never in fact "suspended" its aid to the Palestinians, but merely reduced it. It continued to pay out the bulk of its previous aid package under the heading of "humanitarian" aid. This heading, incidentally, could just as well be applied to the newly "resumed" aid, which, per Le Monde, is supposed to go, among other things, to "essential supplies in the health sector" and securing a "social safety net". If the estimates in Le Monde are accurate, however, with the new allocation EU aid to the Palestinians will end up having in fact increased following the election of Hamas. (In a second article in the same edition, Le Monde puts "average annual EU aid" before the "suspension" at "between 250 million and 260 million euros".) 

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