The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Spanish Socialist Javier Solana, yesterday expressed his “disappointment” at Hamas’s refusal to change its policies, but he called the refusal of other Palestinian political groups to join its new government “positive.” Solana, speaking after the EU foreign ministers had held talks on the Middle East situation, said that Hamas’s position “is not reasonable. If it were, other parties would have joined them.”
The EU on Monday maintained its demand that Hamas must renounce violence, accept the existence of Israel, and agree to the international pacts made by the former Palestinian Authority government in exchange for EU cooperation and further aid. Its foreign ministers are waiting for the confirmation of the new Hamas cabinet and the first announcements that it makes in order to decide whether it is necessary to “reorient aid” to the Palestinian Authority, to which the EU is the largest world contributor.
Ismail Haniye, the new Palestinian prime minister, submitted his list of Cabinet members to Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday, whose approval was necessary before the Cabinet’s confirmation by Parliament. Solana stated at a press conference that Abbas’s program “is not really constructive, but simply a list of elements that are already in Hamas’s statutes. We would have liked to see Hamas evolve. We’re not asking for the moon.”
Spanish secretary of state for the EU Alberto Navarro insisted yesterday on the importance of “not interrupting European aid to the Palestinian people. French minister Philippe Douste-Blazy stressed the need for “moderation” on both parts during the period between the January Palestinian elections and the Israeli election on March 28.
Today there has been grave problems in Gaza: Some armed palestinians have cut down the Saladino’s highway, when the Police Chief was heading for the frontier post to Ramala, in orde to ask for payment and jobs. Also some other armed Palestinians have taken the Ministries of Economy and Foreign Affairs to demand jobs in the Administration. They aimed shots at the police and throw some tyres to the policial forces. The more radicals of Al-Fatah members have stated they are not going to accept the conditions of the new Hamas’ government and that they will act violently to demand their claims.