Israel-Gaza War Germany debates freezing aid to the Palestinian Authority in response to Hamas attack

The Hamas incursion into Israel, with a rising death toll and injury toll, could have consequences for all Palestinians

Israel-Gaza War Germany debates freezing aid to the Palestinian Authority in response to Hamas attack

The Hamas incursion into Israel, with a rising death toll and injury toll, could have consequences for all Palestinians. In Germany, a country that has made Israel's security a state issue, the debate over how to respond to the Jewish state's aggression with more than just words of condemnation has begun.

The first to ask for concrete actions was the Minister of Finance, the liberal Christian Lidner. Supported by his militancy and conservative politicians from the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Linder defends the suspension of development aid to the Palestinians. Germany has already transferred 340 million euros in the last two years. The 2024 budget provides for some 350 million euros for the Palestinian Authority, aid now being questioned due to the suspicion that these funds serve to indirectly finance terror against Israel.

Lidner has dragged the debate to the entire Executive by demanding from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Annalena Baerbock, of the Green party, a recommendation on whether Germany should continue paying the Palestinians. "The terror exercised is astonishing. We must react to it not only with words," she argued.

Baerbock, for the moment, has only spoken of brutal attacks by Hamas and Israel's right to defend itself "against this perfidious terror" and stated that Hamas' terror has once again distanced the region from peace: "Because to these terrorist attacks, there is now the incalculable danger of a major regional escalation. He could only "warn in the strongest terms against others joining in this terror."

The president of the Defense commission, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann (FDP), also called for a review of all aid to the Palestinian Gaza strip. "The existence of the Jewish state of Israel is rightly part of the inseparable core of German reasons of state," she told the newspapers of the Funke media group. "Therefore, this cowardly attack by Hamas against innocent civilians must absolutely be used as an opportunity to thoroughly check the use of all German, EU and UN aid funds destined for Gaza." Any use for anti-Israel or anti-Semitic purposes "must be completely excluded," she said.

The CDU defense politician, Roderich Kiesewetter, has also requested that aid payments to Palestine be stopped. "It is not enough to express political concern, concrete actions must follow. The situation in Israel is terrible, and the declaration of a state of war is necessary in view of the actions of Hamas," Kiesewetter declared.

The president of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Bundestag, the social democrat Michael Roth, considers it necessary for the EU to act. For him, after the Hamas attack, Brussels must once and for all rethink its policy towards Iran, since "Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are financed and supported by Tehran."

"From its support for Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine to its nuclear violations, spread of terror and war in the Middle East, Iran is a dangerous threat to international peace and security," Roth said.

Gregor Gysi, deputy of the Bundestag for the Left Party, however, rejected the idea of ​​​​interrupting German aid payments to Palestinian organizations: "We must support these, but not Hamas. "The attack only comes from them" .

Gysi has strongly condemned the Hamas attacks, as has the German political class as a whole. "Many deaths and injuries are never acceptable, taking hostages is unacceptable. Above all, they are also arbitrarily killing civilians."

Meanwhile, the German Ministry of the Interior has reinforced security at all Jewish civil and religious buildings in Germany. For the head of that department, Nancy Faeser, the protection of Jewish and Israeli institutions in Germany is now an "absolute priority."

"Federal and state security authorities are concerned about the escalation of violence caused by Hamas terrorist attacks against Israel and are closely monitoring any reaction in Germany." He added that threat assessments for Jewish and Israeli institutions are constantly updated and protective measures are increased when necessary. "In Berlin, the protection of Jewish and Israeli institutions has already been increased," the spokesperson further announced. The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, as well as federal and state law enforcement authorities, have stepped up their attention to Palestinian and pro-Iran groups.