EU, Norway to Convene Emergency Meeting of Donor Groups Providing Palestinians Financial Aid

The conference, to be held on January 31, is being held against the backdrop of a U.S. threat to cut funding to the Palestinians and a stalemate in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini
Dario Pignatelli/Bloomberg

The European Union and Norway will be convening an emergency meeting of donor groups that provide funding for the Palestinians.

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The gathering is being held against the backdrop of the crisis in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, the American threat to cut financial assistance to the Palestinians and the stalled reconciliation process between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. The gathering will also examine the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai will be representing Israel at the conference, which will take place on January 31 at the initiative of Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide and European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to cut funding to the Palestinians if they dont return to the negotiating table. Among the possibilities is cutting U.S. funding to UNRWA, which is more than $300 million a year – about a third of the agencys budget.

A senior Israeli official has told Haaretz that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu only supports a gradual cut. This comes in the context of Israeli security officials position that a collapse of humanitarian aid in Gaza could worsen the security situation.