European Union foreign ministers could threaten to freeze much needed financial aid to a Hamas-led Palestinian government at talks Monday if the Islamic militant group fails to give up violence and its pursuit of Israel's destruction.
Monday's talks provide the first opportunity for EU ministers to get a chance to react as a group to last week's surprise victory in Palestinian legislative elections by Hamas, which has killed hundreds of Israelis in suicide bombings.
Like other international donors, the 25-nation EU is questioning whether it can continue its multimillion euro aid to a government that looks likely to be led by Hamas, which remains on an EU blacklist of terrorist groups.
EU diplomats said the foreign ministers were expected to call on Hamas to drop its militant wing and to recognize the state of Israel. The ministers are also expected to issue a declaration "stressing that violence and terror are not compatible with democratic processes."