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Von der Leyen: EU funds for Palestine will be disbursed rapidly

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced Tuesday that EU funds for Palestine would be unlocked after “difficulties” were overcome.

“I am very glad to announce that the EU funds for 2021 can be disbursed rapidly. All the difficulties are gone, we have made clear that the disbursement will take place,” she said during a press conference with Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh in Ramallah.

The EU gave the green light to funding for the Palestinian Authority on Monday, as von der Leyen arrived for her trip to the Middle East.

“It is important to have this EU funding to support the people, especially the most vulnerable. It also helps to create the conditions for economic opportunities,” she added.

Twenty-six out of 27 EU countries backed a proposal to remove conditionality on funding for Palestine. Hungary was the lone holdout.

Hungarian Commissioner Oliver Várhelyi blocked the funding for Palestine last year, arguing it should be contingent on changes to the content of Palestinian textbooks, which some pro-Israeli groups argued have anti-Semitic content. The Hungarian position was almost universally slammed by other EU countries.

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