EU okays $143m for PA before Hamas takes office

The European Union agreed Monday to provide $143 million in urgent aid for Palestinians before a government takes office led by Hamas - a group the bloc considers a terrorist organization. The funds were required to avoid "economic chaos" from paralyzing the Palestinian Authority, French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said. Officials said the aid package comprises $48 million to pay for the Palestinian Authority's energy and other utility bills, $76 million for health and education projects and $21 million to help the authority pay its employees.