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Quartet clears EU aid for Palestinians

brussels bureau

Quartet clears EU aid for Palestinians


The EU, US, UN and Russia Quartet working on Mideast peace have approved the giving of some 105 million euros in European aid to the Palestinians, by-passing the Hamas government. Hospitals should be among the first to get funding, handled by the World Bank.

Forty million euros, to pay electricity, petrol and water bills is to be managed directly by the European Commission. President Mahmoud Abbas’s office is to get around 12 million, to reinforce capacity, said an official source. Hamas and Abbas have welcomed the imminent arrival of financial aid while criticising the mechanism, they said because it nullifies the government’s role.

Since Hamas was democratically elected in January, it has been under international pressure to recognize and renounce violence against Israel with funding cut off until it does. Brussels said allowances to the neediest individuals could be expected to begin by the start of next month. After the Hamas election win, humanitarian aid was not interrupted. The EU is the Palestinians’ biggest donor.

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