Rice rules out aid for Hamas Govt

Updated on Jan 30, 2006 05:41 PM IST

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said this ahead of an international strategy session on Mideast peace prospects.

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None | ByPress Trust of India, London

The US wants other nations to cut off aid to a Hamas-led Palestinian government because the Islamic militant group advocates violence and the destruction of Israel, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said ahead of an international strategy session on Mideast peace prospects.

Rice ruled out any US financial aid to a Hamas government.

Humanitarian help to the Palestinians, many of whom are poor and unemployed, is likely on a "case-by-case basis," Rice said on Sunday.

She indicated that the administration would follow through on aid promised to the current, US-backed Palestinian government led by President Mahmoud Abbas.

"The United States is not prepared to fund an organisation that advocates the destruction of Israel, that advocates violence and that refuses its obligations" under an international framework for eventual Mideast peace, Rice said.

Rice was meeting other members of the so-called Quartet of would-be Mideast peacemakers on Monday.

The group, which includes the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations, is already on record as saying "there is a fundamental contradiction between armed group and militia activities and the building of a democratic state."

The US, Europe and Israel list Hamas as a terrorist organisation, various Arab governments have contacts with the group.

US aid is a part of the USD 1.6 billion annual budget of the Palestinian Authority.

About USD one billion comes from donors -- more than half from European nations and rest from international donor agencies, Arab and Asian governments.

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