The European Union will increase humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip by an additional 25 million euros (610.4 million crowns), the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced today. Already in October, the head of the Union executive informed about tripling of humanitarian aid for civilians in Gaza to 75 million euros, with the current 25 million euros, the total amount is 100 million euros (2.4 billion crowns).
“Israel has the right to defend itself in accordance with international law and international humanitarian law,” reiterated the head of the European Commission in a speech at the conference of EU ambassadors, which is being held in Brussels today. “We have an obligation to do everything in our power to protect civilians who may be at risk. Today I can announce that we are increasing humanitarian aid to Gaza by another 25 million euros. The total humanitarian aid thus amounts to 100 million euros,” she added.
As Ursula von der Leyen also reported via the X social network, she spoke with the Egyptian president about the situation in the region. “I thanked him for what Egypt is doing in distributing humanitarian aid to Gaza and in helping to get European citizens out of Gaza,” she said, adding that she and Abdel Fattah Sisi agreed on “the importance of protecting civilian lives, respecting international and humanitarian law and ensuring that Palestinians are not displaced from Gaza”. “We have come to the conclusion that a lasting peace based on a two-state solution is needed in the Middle East,” added the head of the European Commission.
As von der Leyen emphasized earlier in connection with aid to the Gaza Strip, the European Commission must be sure that the aid reaches those who really need it.
EU countries have been at loggerheads over whether to continue aid to the Palestinian territories since October 7, when Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, attacked Israel. Some are concerned that the aid will end up in the hands of Hamas, which the EU considers a terrorist organization.
Jordan airdropped medical aid to a field hospital in the Gaza Strip
The Jordanian Air Force tonight airdropped urgent medical aid in the form of medical supplies to the Jordanian Field Hospital in the Gaza Strip. It was announced by King Abdullah II of Jordan. and also the state media. The Israeli army said in the morning that the operation took place with its cooperation.
“A Royal Air Force plane dropped emergency medical aid using parachutes to the Jordanian field hospital in Gaza, which is running out of supplies due to the delay in the delivery of aid through the Rafah crossing,” the Jordanian state agency said, citing a military source from the Jordanian Armed Forces’ High Command.
Last week, Jordan announced the withdrawal of its ambassador to Israel, and told him not to send his ambassador back to Amman. This was done in protest against the ongoing Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, during which, according to Amman, innocent people are dying and which is causing a humanitarian disaster.
A spokesman for the Israeli army said in the morning that the delivery of aid from the air was carried out in cooperation with Israel. “The equipment will be used by medical staff for patients,” the spokesman said.
Health authorities in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip say more than 9,770 Palestinians have been killed in the current war. The war was sparked by Hamas’s brutal attack on southern Israel on October 7, killing 1,400 people and taking more than 240 hostages.
Israeli army spokesman Jonathan Conricus told CNN on Sunday that Israel had halted shelling of the northern Gaza Strip for several hours over the past two days to allow civilians to safely leave the south. Israel is facing pressure from various quarters to declare humanitarian pauses in the fighting.
Israeli Prime Minister moderates controversial remarks about reservists
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is apparently trying to tone down comments in which media reports suggested that a pre-war protest among reservists may have encouraged the Islamist Hamas movement to attack Israel on October 7.
Netanyahu said there may need to be an investigation into whether months of protests against his government, including a protest by reservists who said they would no longer report for regular duty, helped motivate Hamas to carry out the bloody attack in southern Israel. However, after public criticism, he wrote on the X network that Hamas started the war “because it wants to kill us all, and not because of any dispute between us”.
“Hamas made a mistake – and that’s why it will be eliminated. We will only win together,” added the Israeli prime minister, whose pre-war partially far-right government faced protests against the government’s judicial reform proposal, which many described as a threat to democracy. Now Israel has a crisis government of national unity for the duration of the war.