EU heads of government are hold a virtual meeting today to discuss humanitarian aid for Gaza and how to mitigate new threats as a result of the war.
Shortly following Hamas’ attacks into Israel, the EU announced it would suspend its USD 728m Palestinian aid package. However, the decision was later reversed, alongside a statement declaring Israel’s response had breached international law. Israel has effectively placed Gaza under siege by blocking vital electricity and water supplies, affecting over two million civilians. The US and UK have already repositioned military equipment to support Israel and deter further escalation.
With Israel conducting the largest pull-up of reservist forces in its history and its military preparing for a ground invasion, the conflict is set to escalate dramatically. Therefore, expect the EU to put forward a cohesive and united response as quickly as possible, given the conflict’s potential to deepen regional tensions and increase the number of international refugees significantly.
The size of humanitarian and development aid the bloc will commit will be determined partly by whether Hamas releases hostages, which looks unlikely, as well as the extent of damage to civilian infrastructure from the impending invasion. Such aid will hugely impact how the population survives the conflict, and how the territory eventually rebuilds.
Rory is an Analyst that writes for the Daily Brief..