An official at the European Commission in occupied Jerusalem announced that the EU has adopted a new financial support policy regarding the Gaza Strip in 2017, in coordination with the Palestinian Authority (PA), but that it would no longer pay the salaries of PA employees in Gaza which is under Hamas control.
Chinese news agency, Xinhua, quoted the Communication and Information Officer at the European Commission in occupied Jerusalem, Shadi Othman, saying that the new policy involves the cessation of European funding being used to pay the salaries of PA employees in Gaza.
Othman explain that, instead, European funding for the Gaza Strip, amounting to 30 million euros, will be used to support poor families and projects related to economic development.
He added that 20 million euros will be transferred for the payment of social allowances to Palestinian families living in poverty in Gaza, which is issued by the PA’s Social Development Ministry.
The rest of the amount, 10 million euros, will be allocated to economic development and infrastructure projects in the Gaza Strip in order to create work opportunities, and will be coordinated in cooperation with the PA, according to Othman.
Othman also noted that the EU’s support for paying the salaries of PA employees in the West Bank would continue in the same manner this year. These salaries are focused in the education and health sectors.
He stated that the new policy was adopted by the EU in the context of its usual annual assessment of the priorities of financial support, which is discussed with the PA.
The EU allocates 300 million euros annually to the Palestinians, divided into 200 million euros for PA employee salaries and the support of economic projects, and 100 million euros to support work of the UN’s refugee agency, the UNRWA.