The European Commission has approved a grant of $18.5 million to the Palestinian Authority.
The money is intended to fund in part the operating budgets of Palestinian universities and colleges in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
It also will ensure that more than 30,000 students can continue full-time study for the rest of this year, said a spokesman for the European Union’s executive body.
In 1994 and 1995, financial aid granted by the 15-member European Union for the development of the West Bank and Gaza totaled some $200 million, making the Europeans the largest donors to the Palestinian Authority.
In a separate development, Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri made an appeal Monday in a meeting here with E.U. leaders for European financial aid to rebuild Lebanon.
He said Lebanon needed about $1 billion a year over five years to fix roads and to rebuild hospitals and government buildings. Hariri also called upon the Europeans “to play a major and a constructive political role in bringing about a lasting peace in the Mideast.”