While since early Saturday, Israel has been continuously bombarding Gaza and killed thousands of Palestinian civilians, Europe is still supporting Israel and blaming Hamas for the initial attack.
As the flames of war between Israel and Hamas are still raging, the EU announced this Thursday that it has put its development funding to the Palestinian territories under review following Saturday’s attack on Israel by Hamas.
“Following moves by Germany and Austria to suspend bilateral assistance to Palestinians in Gaza, the commission has decided to review of non-humanitarian aid to Palestinians to ensure that no EU funding indirectly enables any terrorist organization to carry out attacks against Israel,” the EU Commission said in a statement Thursday.
“The scale of terror and brutality against Israel and its people is a turning point. There can be no business as usual,” said Olivér Várhelyi, the EU Commission’s spokeswoman said on Twitter. Also referring to €691mn in EU development aid to the Palestinian territories, Várhelyi said in another tweet that “all payments [are] immediately suspended. All projects are put under review. All new budget proposals, including for 2023 [are] postponed until further notice.”
Early this Monday, the German government announced that it would halt bilateral assistance worth €125mn, pending a “comprehensive” examination into how such aid was being used. Austria’s aid worth €19mn was also announced to be suspended by the Austrian government for the same reason the same day.
In addition to sanctioning Gaza, European countries have also been supporting Israel in other ways, Landmark buildings around Europe, including 10 Downing Street in London and the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, have lit up with the Israeli flag to show European solidarity with Israel
Europe is blind to Israel’s unprecedented violence in Gaza even days after Hamas attacks
While Europe’s full support for Israel is happening in various forms, it seems the European countries are blind to the reaction that Israel has been doing for days against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip. As of this Friday, at least 1,900 people have been killed in Gaza as a result of Israel’s ceaseless airstrikes in the area, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
Carrying out airstrikes against Palestinians is not the whole picture of the horrible practice that Israel is making in the Gaza Strip. As many top Israeli officials have been saying during the past week, Tel Aviv has decided to enforce the largest and strictest blockade on Gaza, banning any food, water, and other humanitarian aids to reach to the area where nearly 2 million men, women, and children live.
To show a gesture of humanitarian concern, Israel announced this Tuesday that it has warned people in Gaza to evacuate the Strip so as to save their lives from Israeli airstrikes. This, however, would be a journey to death because the warning came while Israel was bombarding Gaza for three days and there has been no announcement from Israel that it would stop the attacks so that Palestinians can safely move out of the war zone. Rebuking Israel’s warning of evacuation, United Nations aid chief Martin Griffiths said this Thursday that the “order to evacuate 1.1 million people from northern Gaza defies the rules of war and basic humanity.”
“Gaza is under intense bombardment. Roads and homes have been reduced to rubble. There is nowhere safe to go,” Griffiths said on Twitter, currently known as X. “Forcing scared and traumatized civilians, including women and children, to move from one densely populated area to another, without even a pause in the fighting and without humanitarian support, is dangerous and outrageous,” he also noted.