25th May 2019

EU to sponsor Palestinian emergency government

  • The West Bank wall: the EU is seeking ways to help citizens in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip areas (Photo: wikipedia)

EU foreign ministers announced on Monday (18 June) that the bloc would resume direct financial aid to the Palestinians, openly signalling their support for the new emergency cabinet which excludes Hamas, following days of violent clashes in the region.

The move comes after Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday appointed a new executive led by Salam Fayyad, the former finance minister in the government of national unity shared with Hamas, the group on both the EU and US terrorist lists.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

"We know him, we've always had good cooperation with him, so there is much in favour of seizing this opportunity and supporting this cabinet," said German foreign minister Frank Walter Steinmeier, chair of the ministerial talks in Luxembourg.

The EU plan is to resume direct cash flows to the official administration based in the West Bank but keep the alternative mechanism of indirect aid in place in the Gaza Strip, currently controlled by Hamas.

But Brussels also wants to make sure that financial structures are established to effectively control and distribute the aid, indicated Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the EU external relations commissioner.

"It is a matter of financial control and transparency," she said.

International funds were cut off early last year following Hamas' election victory and it was substituted by a temporary mechanism by-passing the then government and instead sending money directly to public employees or to cover energy bills.

Israel is also planning to start cashing out the €450 million in taxes and customs revenue it had been withholding from the previous Palestinian government, but so far it has refused to present a clear timetable of when the money will be released.

"For the future of the Palestinians as well as for the relations between Israel and Palestinians, the creation of a new government can send a message of hope," said Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni after the Luxembourg EU meeting.

She added that her country was "willing to work with those who support a two state solution and those who understand and accept the right of Israel to exist. With this kind of government, Israel will work and of course release the money."

Along with the EU and Israel, the US has also expressed its support for the newly appointed Palestinian government.


EU should stop an insane US-Iran war

"If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!", US president Donald Trump tweeted on Monday (20 May).

EU urges US not to start war with Iran

Europe's top diplomats have said US actions risked triggering a conflict with Iran, as America makes plans to pour troops into Middle East in echoes of Iraq war.

EU-Sahel talks next week amid 'unprecedented attacks'

Officials from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger are meeting EU foreign, defence, and development ministers next week in Brussels. The visit comes amid "unprecedented levels" of armed attacks, says the UN.

News in Brief

  1. UK's May announces June 7 resignation date
  2. Ireland votes for EU election and divorce referendum
  3. Report: May to announce resignation plan on Friday
  4. Leading politicians: time for EU to have female leaders
  5. Poll: Finland's Green party to surge in EU elections
  6. High demand for postal voting in Denmark
  7. Some EU citizens turned away at UK polling stations
  8. Switzerland unlikely to sign draft EU deal


EU should stop an insane US-Iran war

"If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!", US president Donald Trump tweeted on Monday (20 May).

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  3. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  4. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  5. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  6. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  11. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  12. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year

Latest News

  1. Irish greens take Dublin in second EU exit poll
  2. EU election results to trigger top jobs scramble This WEEK
  3. Don't tell the Dutch - but Timmermans 'won'
  4. EU says goodbye to May with 'respect'
  5. Strache scandal: how big a hit will Austrian far-right take?
  6. Italy train row exposes competing views of EU
  7. Dutch socialists on top in first EP election exit poll
  8. No usage data kept for EU parliament's 'Citizens' App'

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us