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Last Updated: Monday, 30 January 2006, 20:20 GMT
EU 'to keep funding Palestinians'
Hamas supporter celebrates
Hamas' election victory has thrown foreign donations into doubt
The European Union says it will continue funding the Palestinian Authority so long as its new government is committed to peace with Israel.

EU ministers renewed their call for Hamas to renounce violence and recognise the Jewish state following the militant group's election victory.

Earlier Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas urged foreign donors to continue giving aid to the Palestinians.

EU member states donated about $600m (341m) to the Palestinians in 2005.

But Hamas' landslide victory has left the union in a quandary because the group, which has launched dozens of suicide bombings against Israelis, figures on an EU list of terrorist groups.

Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik, who chaired the talks in Brussels, said the EU expects the new Palestinian assembly to "support the formation of a government committed to a peaceful and negotiated solution of the conflict with Israel".

'Wait and see'

The US has also said it would stop its aid to the PA if Hamas failed to renounce violence or recognise Israel.

On Monday US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Washington was "attentive to the humanitarian concerns of the Palestinian people", but would wait and see before making a decision on whether it would continue its aid.

Earlier Mr Abbas urged donors not to cut funding to ensure "that the institutions continue to function and the plan to build our independent Palestinian state is not disrupted or derailed".

Speaking after meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the West Bank town of Ramallah, Mr Abbas said it was vital that the work of the Palestinian Authority should carry on as normal.

He also reiterated his commitment to the peace process "through negotiations and according to international legitimacy".

Meanwhile Hamas leader in Gaza Ismail Haniya called on the US and the EU to respect the democratic choice of the Palestinian people and engage in a dialogue with the movement.

Representatives from the "Quartet" group of Middle East mediators - the EU, the US, Russia and the UN - are meeting in London to consider relations with Hamas.

1: World Bank $85m
2: Isr/Pal integration $12m
3: UN relief (UNRWA) $77m
4: Food aid $35m
5: Humanitarian aid $33m
6: Special projects $24m
7: Infrastructure $72m
8: Member states $262m

EU TOTAL: $600m
1: 2003/04 rollover $175m
2: PA debts $20m
3: Gaza infrastructure $50m
4: USAID projects $155m

US TOTAL: $400m
Sources: EU, US

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