France looks for new ways of funding Palestinians

France is looking for new ways of financing Palestinians that avoid giving money directly to the new Hamas-led government, possibly by going through the World Bank or a development council, a high-level French diplomat said Thursday. World leaders must find ways to support Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas while skirting handouts that could be doled out from Hamas ministers, the official said on condition of anonymity, citing ministry policy. Paying Palestinian state functionaries without going through Hamas would be tricky, the official said, adding that "alternative channels" could exist, like the World Bank or a Palestinian economic development council. Paris has had no contacts with Hamas, the diplomat said.