Austria suspends aid for Palestinians after Hamas attack

The Austrian government announced Monday that it was suspending development aid to Palestinian areas, in reaction to the surprise attack launched by Hamas militants against Israel.

Stunned by the unprecedented assault on its territory, a shocked Israel has counted over 700 dead and launched a barrage of strikes on Gaza that have raised the death toll there above 430.

“We will put all development aid payments on ice for the time being,” Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg told public radio Oe1.

He said the decision would affect 19 million euros ($20 million) of aid money.

Schallenberg also said Austria would review all projects with Palestinian areas and consult with the European Union and its international partners.

“The scale of the terror is so horrendous. It’s such a fracture that one cannot go back to business as usual,” he added.

He also announced that he will summon the Iranian ambassador to the ministry to address the country’s “abhorrent reactions” to the Hamas attacks over the weekend.

Iran’s clerical leadership openly supports the Islamist militants, who control the blockaded and impoverished Gaza Strip, and have hailed the attack on Israel.

About 8,000 Austrians are currently living in Israel.



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