No anomalies in Germany’s aid to Palestinians – Foreign Ministry

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BERLIN – Germany’s Foreign Ministry has scrutinised humanitarian aid payments to the Palestinian territories and has not detected any misuse, the ministry said on Saturday after a review prompted by the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel.

Europe is one of the main sources of aid to the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories where the United Nations estimates that around 2.1 million people need humanitarian assistance, among them 1 million children.

The German announcement of the aid review had sparked a mixed reaction at home and elsewhere, with critics saying the Palestinian people were not responsible for the Hamas attacks.

Berlin, which has pledged its unwavering support for Israel, says Israeli security is its “reason of state” due its responsibility for the Holocaust, in which about six million Jews were killed in Nazi Germany.

“The review of humanitarian aid for the Palestinians has been completed and there have been no anomalies regarding possible indirect aid for terrorist organisations,” the foreign ministry said.

However, a separate review by the Development Ministry, which suspended development aid to Palestinian people after Hamas’ attacks, has not been concluded yet, a ministry spokesperson told Reuters.

The European Commission also announced on Oct. 9 it would suspend aid to Palestinians, only to backtrack later the same day after EU countries complained it had overstepped the mark.

The German Development Ministry had earmarked 250 million euros ($272 million) for bilateral projects in the Palestinian territories for this year and next. It did not say how much of that it has already disbursed so far.

The spokesperson said that pledges totalling 71 million euros ($77.44 million) for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) were released and an additional 20 million euros were made available.

These will be used to finance measures to maintain basic services for displaced people in Gaza and to support Palestinian refugees in Jordan.

Germany has provided humanitarian aid totalling around 161 million euros ($175.6 million) for people in Palestinian territories this year.

The country, together with the United States, is the largest donor of humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Saturday during a visit to Nuthetal in Brandenburg state.

“It is not the states in the neighbourhood, although some are very rich,” he said in reference to Arab countries. “We are the ones who make it possible for schools and hospitals to be run there,” he said about the Palestinian territories. REUTERS

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