China willing to consider aid for Hamas

PA has yet to request funds; does not necessarily mean formal ties.

china flag 88 (photo credit: )
china flag 88
(photo credit: )
China said Wednesday it would consider giving aid to the new Hamas-led Palestinian government if Hamas leaders request it. A Foreign Ministry spokesman, Liu Jianchao, said Beijing hopes the new Palestinian leadership "could start from maintaining the fundamental interests of Palestinian people, and continue to push forward the China-Palestine relations and the Middle East peace process." Asked at a regular news briefing whether China might offer aid to compensate for money withheld from Hamas by Israel, Liu said, "If the Palestinian side raises this request, we will consider it." The Hamas sweep in Palestinian elections last month stunned Washington and threatened the already fragile Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Hamas, which has killed scores of Israelis in suicide bombings, has rejected international demands to be moderate, despite Israel's efforts to isolate the group internationally and Western threats to cut off vital financial aid. Hamas has called for the destruction of Israel and does not recognize the Jewish state. The United States and European Union, which consider Hamas a terrorist group, also have said they will halt aid to a Hamas-led government unless the group changes its attitude toward Israel. Liu said on Thursday he didn't know whether Beijing would be willing to have official contacts with the Hamas government.