Hamas gov't puts bulk of EU aid to PA at risk

March 19, 2006 12:59


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Up to 80 percent of the EU's 500 million euros (US $609 million) in annual aid for Palestinians could be jeopardized by the emergence of an Islamic government led by Hamas - a group the Europeans call a terrorist organization that is sworn to destroy Israel. EU foreign ministers will debate the implications of a Hamas government Monday - two days after Hamas said it had formed a government - and the 25 EU leaders will take up the issue at a Brussels summit later in the week. Since Hamas' landslide win in parliamentary elections in January, the EU has made the fate of its largest foreign aid program hinge on Hamas' willingness to disarm, renounce violence, and recognize Israel and all accords it has made with previous Palestinian leaders. It has also considered giving EU aid by circumventing the Hamas organization, but found that unrealistic.

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