European Union foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell has been denounced in the European Parliament after he refused to cut EU aid to Palestine.
At a press conference in the Parliament, Romanian MEP Cristian Terheș slammed what he called the EU’s irresponsible funding of terrorist organisations.
That followed a unilateral decision by the EU’s Neighbourhood Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi to cut EU funding to Palestine, following Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7.
Within hours Várhelyi received intense backlash from Member States over the move, including Ireland, Spain and Portugal. That prompted Borrell to announce EU funding to Palestine would continue.
Borrel wrote on X that, “The suspension of the payments … would have damaged the EU interests in the region and would have only further emboldened terrorists.”
Responding to questions from Brussels Signal, Terheș asserted: “This statement is why we are in crisis!”
He said it was what he called the EU’s oblivious and uninformed funding of the Palestinian Authority that had “emboldened terrorists… and all because of these weak, so-called leaders”.
“[Borrell] should have been fired on the spot, and that’s what we have to do,” he said, adding that in the 2024 EU elections, voters had a duty “to put in power people who know what do with that power”.
The European Union has abandoned plans to stop sending aid to Palestine after a backlash within the bloc. https://t.co/tzjlakTPhp
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) October 10, 2023
Terheș opened his press conference waving a photocopy of a school textbook from the Gaza Strip. On its cover was an image of Dalal Mughrabi, a Palestinian militant who died in a 1978 terror attack that killed 38 Israeli civilians, including 13 children.
Accompanied by two representatives from The International Movement for Peace and Coexistence (IMPAC) NGO, he claimed such textbooks had been funded by EU money sent to Hamas for development purposes. That was also echoed by Israeli authorities.
The latest development comes amid increasing accusations that EU taxpayers’ money sent to Palestine is being appropriated to fund Islamist terrorism.
A recent report from UK national daily The Telegraph revealed the EU has poured €100 million into pipeline projects in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, despite open boasts by the group that it uses those pipes to construct rockets.
Online video shows Hamas digging up the pipelines to forge arsenals of propelled weapons.
Interesting video released by al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas' military wing) showing how it digs out water pipes meant for Gazans and uses them to make rockets that are fired indiscriminately at Israel. Absolutely evil. #Gaza pic.twitter.com/eV1DwOarVc
— FJ (@Natsecjeff) May 25, 2021
Hamas has launched well over 5,000 rockets at Israeli cities and civilians in its Israel offensive. More than 1,200 Israelis have died and hundreds more have reportedly been abducted.
Patricia Teitelbaum, the Brussels CEO of IMPAC, told Brussels Signal that if an entity such as Hamas-governed Gaza “is able to produce rockets, can they not produce electricity? Hospitals?”
Her colleague Nigel Goodrich likewise praised Várhelyi’s attempt to cut EU funding, saying that unlike Borrell, the Commissioner had “absolute [moral] clarity”.
The comments have been echoed by other MEPs including Charlie Weimers of the national-Conservative Sweden Democrats. He called for the EU to freeze its funding to Palestine.
Sweden itself has paused its aid to Palestine, with Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Åkesson saying: “It is unreasonable that Swedish tax money should go to things that legitimise terror.”
The conflict between Israel and Hamas is becoming highly divisive in Europe.
Much of the EU has taken Israel’s side despite several Member States’ parties denouncing that stance, particularly those on the hard-Left.
The European hard-left has condemned European Union leaders’ support of Israel following the outbreak of hostilities between Israel and Palestinian Islamist organisation Hamas on October 7. https://t.co/ZvLQmmSYe0
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) October 9, 2023