EU parliamentarians call for end to PA embargo

A group of European Union parliamentarians on Thursday urged the EU to end the aid embargo on the Palestinian government and resume direct payments that were suspended after Hamas won elections last year. Members of the European Parliament's delegation for relations with the Palestinian legislature met Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza City on Tuesday - the first meeting between a European delegation and the Hamas leader since the radical Islamic group came to power last year. The European Parliament delegation said it believes the program of the new Palestinian government - which includes members of the Fatah party alongside Hamas - does reflect international demands. It urged the EU to fully engage with the new Palestinian government and resume aid "as a matter of urgency" to prevent a further deterioration of the situation in the West Bank and Gaza.