Calls for the new Palestinian Government to turn its back on violence and recognise the state of Israel have been rejected. The appeal to Hamas came from the quartet of international mediators – the EU, the UN, the US and Russia. The meeting in London followed last week’s elections in which Hamas ousted the Fatah Party. US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, said Hamas had an obligation to work towards peace.
But a dismissal of the request came almost immediately from a Hamas Party spokesman, who claimed the Palestinian people were being “punished for casting their vote.” Millions of euros in aid for the Palestinian Authority could be in jeopardy if the diplomatic crisis is not resolved. Latest figures for 2005 revealed that the EU gave the Palestinian Authority 500 million euros, while the United States donated 400 million euros.