Japan may halt aid if Hamas backs violence
Japan has provided $840 mn to the Palestinians in grants, technical assistance and other aid through international organisations.india Updated: Apr 18, 2006 09:34 IST
Japan may halt aid to the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority if the radical Islamic group supports violence, a government official said on Tuesday after a deadly suicide attack in Tel Aviv.
"We need to watch whether the new Palestinian Authority will make efforts to promote the peace process before we decide on future aid," the foreign ministry official said, adding Tokyo would continue to provide humanitarian assistance.
"In an extreme scenario in which they assist terrorism, we would have to watch the situation, and out of common sense would not approve new aid," he said on condition of anonymity.
Nine people were killed and dozens wounded in Tel Aviv Monday when a 21-year-old Palestinian bomber blew himself up in the deadliest suicide attack for 20 months.
Moderate Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas condemned the bombing, claimed by the militant group Islamic Jihad.
But Hamas, which has supported suicide attacks in the past, blamed Israel's "aggression" for the bombing.
Japan is a major importer of oil and has close relations with the Islamic world. It has provided $840 million to the Palestinians in grants, technical assistance and other aid through international organisations since the launch of the Oslo peace process in 1993.
The United States and the European Union have already frozen aid to the Palestinian Authority after Hamas refused to renounce violence.