BRUSSELS — The European Union will provide financial aid to a new Palestinian government as long as it is peaceful and accepts Israel’s right to exist, an EU spokesman said Monday after a deal between rival factions Fatah and Hamas.
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas will head an interim consensus government under a deal signed with the Islamist movement Hamas in Doha aimed at reconciling the feuding sides.
“The EU has consistently called for intra-Palestinian reconciliation behind President Mahmud Abbas as an important element for the unity of a future Palestinian state and for reaching a two-state solution,” said Michael Mann, spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
“The EU looks forward to continuing its support, including through direct financial assistance, for a new Palestinian government that should uphold the principle of non-violence,” he said in a statement.
The new government should also remain committed to achieving a two-state solution with Israel, “and to a negotiated peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict accepting previous agreements and obligations, including Israel’s legitimate right to exist,” he said.
“The EU also looks forward to the prospect of holding of elections.”
Israel, which considers Hamas a terrorist organisation, slammed the deal, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying Abbas will have chosen to “abandon the path of peace” if he implements the agreemeent.
The EU forms part of the Quartet of Middle East peacebrokers along with the United States, Russia and the United Nations.