EU may fund Palestinian supporters of terrorist groups, official assures aid recipients


(JTA) — Amid growing scrutiny in Europe of aid to the Palestinian Authority, an EU official said Brussels will not withhold funds from supporters of terrorist groups.

The official, Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff, who heads the EU mission to the West Bank and Gaza Strip, said this in a March 30 letter to Palestinian aid recipients that the NGO Monitor group on Wednesday posted on Twitter.

The EU restrictive lists include groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad, which may not receive funding, he wrote.

However, “it is understood that a natural person affiliated to, sympathizing with, or supporting any of the groups mentioned in the EU restrictive lists is not excluded from benefiting from EU-funded activities” if the recipient is not on the list, he wrote.

Israeli diplomats protested the letter, with a Foreign Ministry spokesperson telling The Times of Israel that it’s a “violation of all our agreements with the European Union.”

In recent months, European governments have adopted a more restrictive policy on Palestinian recipients of aid over their links to terrorism or anti-Israel activities.

In November, the Dutch government cut funding to the Palestinian Authority over its salaries to terrorists serving time in Israeli jails.

In February, the Prime Minister’s Office of France said following an NGO Monitor report that it will not fund recipients in violation of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism, which includes claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.

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