Switzerland Suspends Financial Support to 11 Palestinian, Israeli NGOs Over Ongoing Conflict

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6 Palestinian, 5 Israeli non-governmental organizations affected by decision, says Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

Switzerland on Wednesday suspended financial support to 11 Palestinian and Israeli non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in light of ongoing hostilities in the region. 

“In view of the new situation that has prevailed since the Hamas attack on Israel on 7 October and the resumption of hostilities in the Middle East, the FDFA (Federal Department of Foreign Affairs) has decided to suspend its financial support to eleven local NGOs,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Six of the groups affected were Palestinian and five Israeli, according to the statement. These organizations are primarily active in the field of human rights and are recipients of support from the department’s Middle East cooperation programs, it said.

It noted that this decision will allow a thorough analysis to be made of whether the communications of these organizations comply with the FDFA’s code of conduct and the anti-discrimination clause that applies to its external partners.

“The FDFA’s cooperation activities in the Middle East must adapt to the new context that has prevailed since the resumption of hostilities,” it said. “The relevance and feasibility of programmes will therefore have to be analysed in general terms.”

The statement emphasized the importance of ensuring the appropriate use of its financial aid.

The conflict in Gaza, which has been under Israeli bombardment and a blockade since Oct. 7, began when the Palestinian group Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood — a multi-pronged surprise attack that included a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel by land, sea, and air.

Hamas said the incursion was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and growing violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians.

The Israeli military then launched a relentless bombardment of Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

Nearly 8,000 people have been killed in the conflict, including at least 6,546 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis.

Gaza’s 2.3 million people have been running out of food, water, medicines and fuel, and aid convoys allowed into Gaza have carried only a fraction of what is needed.

Source : AA