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Hamas asks for continuation of aid

Jan. 30, 2006 at 7:45 AM

GAZA, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh appealed Monday for donor nations to continue aid to the Palestinian Authority following the militant group's election victory.

Haniyeh made his appeal at a news conference Monday in Gaza, calling on the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations to recognize the needs of the Palestinian people and keep financial aid flowing, Voice of America reported.

He spoke as EU foreign ministers met in Brussels to discuss aid to Palestinians. The EU is the Palestinian Authority's largest donor, giving about $606 million a year, the BBC said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday during a visit to Jerusalem that the EU will not fund a Hamas-led government. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also said the United States is contacting donor nations about suspending aid to a Hamas-led Palestinian government, unless the group, designated as a terrorist organization by the United States, renounces violence and accepts Israel's right to exist.

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