ECI condemns the massacre in Jerusalem – and calls upon the EU to review its funding to the PA

JLM_massacre_2014Brussels, 19th November 2014 – As the European Coalition for Israel is preparing for its 11th Annual Policy Conference in Brussels, which will address the volatile situation in the Middle East, it has issued a statement condemning the massacre of the four Jewish rabbis who were brutally murdered in Jerusalem on Tuesday morning, while they were praying in their local synagogue. ECI calls upon the European Union to immediate halt its funding to the PA, as long as the incitement to violence continues by the Palestinian leadership. In 2005, during one of the first European Parliament policy conferences, ECI brought attention to the Palestinian mismanagement of the EU funding and called for an immediate review. The EU later froze the funding temporarily, quoting arguments made in the ECI policy paper.

On Tuesday, ECI Director Tomas Sandell renewed his call for a review of EU funding to the PA, as he addressed the recent massacre in the European Report TV—programme from the European Parliament. He noted that the killing came after an intensified Palestinian campaign of incitement, calling for a day of rage in Jerusalem. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly warned against any Jewish presence on the Temple Mount, calling it a “contamination” of the holy site. On Wednesday, Abbas condemned the terrorist attack, but only after having been pressed by US Secretary of State John Kerry to do so.

There have been wide condemnations of the terrorist attack from all parts of the world, some citing incitement as the root cause for the violence against Jews.  Many organisations are now demanding greater responsibility by the EU, as the single largest donor of aid to the Palestinian authority.

On Thursday, ECI will renew its call for a full revision of the EU aid to the Palestinian territories, making the aid conditional on a cessation of the incitement.  The conference, which takes place on Thursday and Friday, will bring together European lawmakers and officials with ECI activists from all corners of Europe.