Brussels, Asharq Al-Awsat- Foreign ministers of the European Union will meet on Monday in Luxemburg to continue their discussions on the future of their countries’ aid to the Palestinian Authority.
A few European countries feel that the Palestinian Hamas-led government should get a chance to change its policies and adhere to the European demands before a decision is made to cut off aid to the P.A., diplomatic sources told Asharq al-Awsat in Brussels
The sources added that last Wednesday’s meeting between the EU’s ambassadors to Brussels, saw sharp disagreements in regard to the decision which is to take place on Monday. A draft decision prepared by the EU ambassadors on Wednesday did not call to freeze European aid to the P.A. On the other hand, it warned the Hamas government it must adhere to the international Quartet’s (U.S., Russia, U.N., and the EU) demands.
The Quartet demanded that the Palestinian government recognize the right of the Israel to exist; cease its violence; and honor all past agreements signed with Israel.
The European Union transfers some 500 million euros a year to the Palestinian Authority.
In other developments, Hamas has vowed to avenge a weekend of Israeli strikes which has left 15 people dead.
The latest victim was a 29-year-old taxi driver, Yasser Abu Jarad, killed by a tank shell by a national security post in the Beit Hanun region of the northern Gaza Strip as he dropped off members of a military unit.
A total of 21 other people were also wounded in shelling in the north, including 10 when a house in Jabaliya was hit, which came as part of efforts by the Israeli army to put a halt to the firing of rockets into southern Israel.
A series of air strikes on the Gaza Strip Friday night and Saturday left 14 people dead, making it much the deadliest bout of violence since Hamas’s upset victory in a January election and subsequent formation of its first government last month.