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Parliamentary questions
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5 November 2019
E-004157/2019
Question for written answer
to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Rule 138
Carmen Avram
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: The Palestinian Authority’s use of EU financial support and EU action to prevent Iran financing Hezbollah and other terrorist groups

The European Union pledged to transfer EUR 15 million to the Palestinian Authority (PA) (1) , a decision that will enable the body to keep paying the salaries of its public employees (2) . However, Palestinian Media Watch reported that this money is also used to support terrorists’ relatives under the pay-for-slay policy. Israel decided to withhold taxes from the PA, as these were being used to fund terrorists incarcerated in Israeli prisons. This led the PA to refuse all tax money from Israel (3) .

The Commission is the biggest donor of external assistance to the Palestinians. The indicative European Neighbourhood Instrument allocation for 2017-2020 is between EUR 1.11 and 1.356 billion (4) .

Furthermore, MEPs and policy advisers (5) visited (6) one of Hezbollah’s 1.5 km long underground tunnels (7) positioned along the Israel-Lebanon border. These tunnels were financed by Iran and built over a period of 14 years and could have led to an outbreak of a war, had they not been discovered by the Israel Defence Forces (8) .

Can the EU confirm with absolute certainty that its money is not used to pay families of Palestinian terrorists that died committing terrorist acts or that are imprisoned in Israel?

How is it improving transparency and accountability (9) when it comes to how EU taxpayers’ (10) money is used when it is given to the PA (11) ?

What actions is it taking to limit or prevent Iran’s financing of terrorist organisations in the countries neighbouring Israel?

(1) https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Is-the-EU-funding-ongoing-Palestinian-Authority-terrorist-payments-589377
(2) https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-25/eu-funds-groups-linked-to-palestinian-terrorism-israel-charges
(3) https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Is-the-EU-funding-ongoing-Palestinian-Authority-terrorist-payments-589377
(4) https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/neighbourhood/countries/palestine_en
(5) https://twitter.com/ELNET_BRX/status/1189837447435296768
(6) https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/EU-Parliament-members-Support-Israel-in-fight-against-Hezbollah-and-Iran-606734
(7) https://twitter.com/davidsaranga/status/1191252761658220544?s=11
(8) https://twitter.com/IsraelMFA/status/1189200471019405313
(9) https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/65455/working-together-palestinians-and-europeans-hold-joint-meeting-enhance-cooperation_en
(10) https://www.timesofisrael.com/belgium-ends-funding-for-palestinian-schools-over-honoring-of-terrorist/
(11) https://ec.europa.eu/echo/news/hdlpalestine_en
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