Japan to resume direct aid to Palestinians

Japan will resume direct aid to the moderate Palestinian Authority government, after shunning its Hamas-led predecessor for more than a year, a top Japanese envoy announced Monday. Deputy Ambassador Kuninori Matsuda said the $20-million ((€15 million) Japanese aid package will be dispersed in eight payments to support the PA government and provide humanitarian relief to the residents of the Gaza Strip. Japan has avoided providing direct aid to the Palestinians since the Hamas came to power in March 2006. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas fired that government after Hamas took over Gaza by force in mid-June and replaced it with a Cabinet of moderates.