Review of ongoing financial assistance for Palestine

Author (Corporate)
Series Details C (2023) 3800
Publication Date 21/11/2023
Content Type , ,


Communication published by the European Commission on 21 November 2023, unveiling the results of its review of the ongoing financial assistance for Palestine by the European Union (EU).

Further information:

Following the terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas against Israel on 7 October 2023, the European Commission announced a review of its financial assistance for Palestine. The objective was to ensure that no EU funding indirectly enables any terrorist organisation to carry out attacks against Israel. It also aimed to ensure the full respect for EU legislation and policy as well as prevent the possible abuse of EU funding to incite hatred and violence.

The review covered the entire development portfolio, including support programmes to the Palestinian population, the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for the Palestinians (UNRWA). It did not concern the humanitarian assistance for the Palestinian people.

The review was carried out using a two-step approach. First, an operational screening was done first, to assess the feasibility of projects in the changed circumstances. The criteria used included the geographical location of actions (Gaza, West Bank or East Jerusalem), the capacity of  the implementing partners to deliver in the current circumstances, the level of priority of the needs following the new situation, the interest of the EU to remain engaged with a certain partner or on a certain topic, and the flexibility in the design of the project and possibility to easily change the scope of the programme. Second, a risk assessment on both aid diversion and incitement to hatred and violence was performed. The criteria used included a screening of the tools and mechanisms used by implementing partners, the level of control of individual direct and indirect beneficiaries, as well as the geographical location of beneficiaries.

The analysis was followed by the identification of mitigating measures, such as the inclusion of the relevant anti-incitement contractual clauses in all contracts, monitoring their strict application and enlarging the scope of the monitoring of beneficiaries, including through third-party monitoring.

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Commentary and Analysis
Euro|topics, October 2023: EU to review development aid for Palestinians
Deutsche Welle, 11/10/2023: Why EU won't suspend aid to Palestinians after Hamas attacks
EUObserver: Opinion, 17/11/2023: What's actually happening with EU aid for Palestine?

El País, 09/10/2023: European Union ‘immediately’ suspends all aid to Palestine after Hamas attacks on Israel
EurActiv, 09/10/2023: EU places Palestine development aid under review after Hamas attack
Bloomberg, 09/10/2023: EU Reviews Aid for Palestinians, Reversing Earlier Freeze
RTÉ News, 09/10/2023: EU backtracks on suspension of Palestinian aid payments
The Guardian, 09/10/2023: EU appears to backpedal on freezing of Palestinian aid payments
Le Monde, 10/10/2023: The EU backtracks on announcement about suspending aid to Palestine
Politico, 21/11/2023: EU to continue aid to Palestinians after review shows funds don’t go to Hamas
Euronews, 21/11/2023: Urgent review of EU development aid to Palestine finds no inadvertent financing of terrorism
Euronews, 21/11/2023: Urgent review of EU development aid to Palestine finds no inadvertent financing of terrorism
Reuters, 21/11/2023: EU says no Palestinian aid going to Hamas, programmes to continue
The Brussels Times, 22/11/2023: Internal review of EU aid for Palestine results in clean bill
The Irish Times, 23/11/2023: European Commission tightens screws on Palestinian development aid

European Commission: Press Release, 09/10/2023: The European Commission announces an urgent review of its financial assistance for Palestine
European Commission: Press Release, 21/11/2023: The Commission finalises the review of EU aid to Palestine

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