The debate about German support for the Palestinians had previously broken out. Promised payments in the millions must “now be stopped immediately,” explained CDU foreign policy expert Roderich Kiesewetter. Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) demanded a decision from Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens). The left-wing politician Gregor Gysi, however, defended aid to the Palestinians.
According to the Development Ministry, Germany is “one of the largest donors in the Palestinian territories.” For this year and next, the development commitments total 125 million euros. In addition, there are additional funds “in a similar amount” promised for UN and non-governmental organizations as well as humanitarian aid from the Foreign Office for 2023.
The ministry emphasized that any support for the Palestinian territories would be “project-related”, for example for water supply and waste disposal, the health system, food security and the creation of jobs. “There is no direct financing of the Palestinian Authority.” The ministry also said that aid to the Palestinians is often in Israel's interest.
Hamas launched a major attack on Israel on Saturday morning. Gunmen also killed civilians and took an unknown number of people hostage. The Israeli authorities recently spoke of at least 600 dead, 2,000 injured and around 100 kidnapped.
"The terror is shocking. We shouldn't just react to it with words," said Finance Minister Lindner to "Bild am Sonntag". "I am therefore hoping for a recommendation from the Foreign Minister as to how the German state should proceed with financial support for the Palestinians in light of this violence." This could be implemented “immediately”.
“Terrorism and anti-Semitism cannot be financed with German tax money,” explained the President of the German-Israeli Society (DIG), Volker Beck. However, he did not advocate stopping payments, but rather stricter conditions and controls. “This requires clear decisions from the budget committee and the Bundestag for the 2024 federal budget.”
Left-wing politician Gysi warned against stopping aid payments. “Palestinian organizations can and must be supported, but Hamas cannot,” he told “Spiegel.” “The attack only comes from her.” The Hamas attack "can only be strongly condemned. Many deaths and injuries are never acceptable, the hostage-taking is unacceptable."