Austria on Monday said it was freezing its development aid to Palestinian areas, following the shocking attack by Hamas militants on Israel that killed over 700 Israelis.
The foreign minister, Alexander Schallenberg, told public radio Oe1 that the move would affect 19 million euros ($20 million) of aid money. He said Austria would also review all its projects with Palestinians and coordinate with the EU and other partners.
He said, “We will put all development aid payments on ice for the time being.
“The scale of the terror is so horrendous. It’s such a fracture that one cannot go back to business as usual.”
He also said he would call in the Iranian ambassador to protest Iran’s “abhorrent reactions” to the Hamas attacks. Iran’s clerical leaders have openly backed the Islamist militants, who rule the besieged and poor Gaza Strip, and praised the attack on Israel.
About 8,000 Austrians live in Israel, which has responded to the Hamas assault with airstrikes on Gaza that have killed more than 430 people.