EU foreign ministers have expressed reluctance to continue aid to a Hamas-led Palestinian Authority while it supports violence and the destruction of Israel. Although they have stopped short of threatening sanctions, foreign policy chief Javier Solana says change has to come.
“We are not asking for something absurd, we are asking for something very rational. Now, is that going to happen? The transformation of Hamas in 24 hours from the day they were elected to today, probably not, but I think we have to send a sense of course which is absolutely fundamental if they want to be helped with aid by the international community”. Hamas’s Ismail Haniyeh has appealed to the international community to continue its financial support, and has called for the reopening of “unconditional” talks with the Quartet group guiding the peace process with the Israelis. However, he has also vowed Hamas will not disarm. The group is still classified as a terrorist organisation by two quartet members, the EU and the US. Some in Hamas say they can do without western aid and they will seek funds from friendly nations and the Arab world rather than succumb to what they call “blackmail”. Post-election celebrations continue. In the latest rally in Ramallah, women and children lined up opposite the men to hear their leaders speak.