Quartet renews assistance to Palestinians

An agreement was reached Friday to extend US, European, UN and Russian assistance to Palestinians that bypasses Hamas, the militant group that plays a dominant role in the Palestinian government. In a statement issued by the so-called Quartet, the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia, the Palestinians' benefactors said the Palestinians were in need and encouraged donors to respond to UN and other requests. The program, adopted after Hamas' election victory in January, provides for direct assistance to the Palestinians and their programs. In the past year, the United States has contributed about $450 million (€341.1 million).