Palestine Slams EU for Blocking Aid over Anti-Semitism in School Textbooks

Palestinian Authority (PA) has criticized the EU’s decision to delay the transfer of $235 million in annual aid after a Hungarian diplomat claimed that Palestinian textbooks contain “inciting material.”

A Hungarian diplomat and the commissioner for neighborhood and enlargement in Brussels, Oliver Varhelyi has proposed that aid to Palestine requires the removal of “anti-Semitism and incitement” elements in textbooks taught in the schools.

The EU withheld the aid until a final decision was made by its executive branch.

“They talk to us about curriculums and human rights and promoting elections, but ignore the violations and daily conduct of Israel as a brutal occupying entity,” Haaretz news agency quoted a senior Palestinian official as saying.

However, Israel said the decision is taken by the EU and it is their internal matter and Israel has nothing to do with it, the outlet added.

Meanwhile, Estephan Salameh, a PA policy adviser in the prime minister’s office said that talks with the EU to transfer the annual aid were still ongoing.

“We received clear messages from the European officials that Europe is committed to supporting the Palestinian people,” Salameh told Voice of Palestine radio on Wednesday.

Salameh claimed that the EU confirmed the annual aid would resume “soon in the future”.

This comes as last Thursday Palestinian Foreign Minister Dr. Riyad Al-Maliki met with Varhelyi in Antalya of Turkey, rejected any such demands by the EU, and said that Palestinian Authority will continue its efforts to get the aid back. During the talks, Al-Maliki told Varhelyi that they reject the EU’s conditional-based funding.

Most of the aid will reportedly go directly to the budget of the PA to provide the salaries of their staffers and the small reaming would be intended for development projects. 


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