The European Union has joined US lawmakers in their threats to curb aid to the Palestinian Authority if the militant group Hamas wins next month’s parliamentary elections. During a visit to the region, EU Foreign Policy chief Javier Solana said the bloc could not support any party that supports violence. Israel has also voiced concern saying it could not carry on the peace process in case of Hamas victory.
Solana outlined some of the problems: “It’s very difficult that parties that do not condemn violence, parties that still have in their constitution the disappearance of the state of Israel, without changing those positions should be partners in the future,” he said. Hamas, which is sworn to destroying Israel, has led a campaign of suicide bombings and is growing into a formidable political force. The issue highlights a dilemma facing western countries pushing for free elections in the Middle East that then run the risk of bringing victory to groups they brand as terrorists.