The new Hamas-run Palestinian Authority will continue receiving European aid if it accepts certain conditions, said German Chancellor Angela Merkel on a visit to Ramallah.
Top of the list is the need for Hamas to recognise the state of Israel. The Islamist group which rose to power in a surprise victory in last week’s parliamentary elections has in the past pledged to destroy Israel.
Merkel, the first European Union leader to visit the region since the vote, made the remarks at a joint news conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
“If the principles I laid down are respected, we will back the peace process, but this support hinges on certain conditions. However, I feel I have been heard, and we must now wait and see how the situation develops,” she said.
The European Union has suggested vital funding for the Palestinian Authority could be cut if Hamas doesn’t abandon violence.
Abbas has urged foreign donors to keep giving aid, saying it is vital to ensure the plan to build an independent Palestinian state is not derailed.
He has also dismissed suggestions he may resign following his Fatah party’s defeat in the election.