Next year, the European Union will provide humanitarian aid to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank in the amount of 125 million euros (over three billion crowns). The promised amount is roughly a quarter higher than the funds provided this year, which the EU has repeatedly increased. The European Commission (EC) announced the newly promised funds on Friday. The funds, through humanitarian organizations, are intended to help solve the acute humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, where the Hamas movement and the Israeli army have been fighting each other for two months.
“The humanitarian crisis in Gaza worsens every Friday. In response, the EC quickly mobilized its broad set of emergency response tools. A total of 30 humanitarian airlift flights have been organized and 1,000 tons of aid have already been sent to people in need in the Gaza Strip,” the European Commission said.
In the Gaza Strip, the newly pledged funds are intended to help ensure access to drinking water, food, health care and shelter. Care, including psychological support, should be given priority to the most vulnerable population groups. According to the EC, aid in the occupied West Bank should also include legal aid to those forcibly displaced, support for education or material aid for people who have become targets of attacks by Jewish settlers.
Israel has occupied the West Bank since the 1967 war. The Palestinians want to make this territory the center of their independent state. However, Israel has built settlements there that most countries consider illegal. Israel denies this, citing historical and biblical ties to the territory.
The EU has been providing humanitarian aid to the Palestinians since 2000. In response to the current escalation of violence in the Middle East, this year the EU quadrupled the originally promised humanitarian aid and sent 103 million euros (2.5 billion crowns) to the Palestinians.