European gov'ts look into Hamas

By use of indirect proxy contacts, Europeans try to "feel out" the group.

By
March 6, 2006 19:02
2 minute read.
hamas rally 298

Hamas rally 298. (photo credit: )

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Western countries currently in the process of "learning about Hamas" are holding indirect contacts with the organization through various Palestinian academics and politicians who are close to the organization, but not themselves members, a source who advises various European governments on Palestinian affairs told The Jerusalem Post. According to the source, these contacts were designed to "feel out" Hamas on various issues, and see to what degree it would be willing to moderate its positions once both a new Palestinian Authority and a new Israeli government were in place.

JPOST.COM HIT LIST
    JPost.com's most popular articles this past week [click here]
The source said that a number of western governments were currently in the process of trying to gather more information about the organization - its positions, divisions, central players, possible room for maneuver, and where it might be willing to compromise. The source noted there was a growing realization among western governments that Hamas is not a monolithic movement, and that there was now an attempt to understand the various nuances inside the organization. A Hamas government, the source said, is unlikely to be sworn in before the March 28 Israeli elections, in no small part so that this would not turn into an Israeli election issue that could possibly benefit the "Israeli extreme right." Israeli Foreign Ministry officials said that they did not know of any indirect contacts between European governments and Hamas. One ministry official said that Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni heard a united view last week during her visit to Vienna, Paris and London that the Europeans would not continue to fund the PA after Hamas formed a government unless it recognized Israel, disavowed violence, and accepted previous agreements between Israel and the PA. The European Union's head of external relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner said as much in an interview published Monday in Austria's Der Standard newspaper. During the interview, however, she also said that Israel should release the $60 million in tax and customs revenues it has begun holding up to the PA. Israel's policy of not transferring the payments to the PA because of the Hamas victory began this month. "It would be important that the Israelis are paying out what is actually Palestinian money - the customs duties," she said. The EU's position on whether it believes Israel should transfer these funds once the Hamas government is in power is as yet not clear. Livni, meanwhile, told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Monday during her first appearance before that body that it was in Israel's interest to prevent a humanitarian crisis from erupting in the PA. As a result, she said, Israel may seek to deliver aid to the Palestinian population through humanitarian organizations. Briefing the committee on her recent rip to Europe, Livni said that individual European countries were still considering how to respond to Hamas' victory. Following the committee meeting, MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union- National Religious Party) said that Livni's briefing proved that "Israel has no clear foreign policy regarding the Palestinians and Hamas." Sheera Claire Frenkel added to this report

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Prince Show
October 15, 2018
Prince-orchestrated tribute to turn Israel purple

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF