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Hamas Rejects EU Calls

Hamas has rejected demands from the international community to lay down its arms and recognize Israel if it participates in a Palestinian government.

Officials from the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia met in London on Monday to discuss Hamas’ victory in the Palestinian legislative elections last Wednesday.

The four parties constitute the Quartet, which initiated the Road Map for Peace.

The Quartet welcomed the elections and congratulated the Palestinians on an electoral process that was “free and fair,” a statement said.

But representatives added that if the Palestinians want to continue receiving financial support, a Hamas-led government must commit to non-violence, recognition of Israel and acceptance of existing peace agreements, including the Road Map

Donors will review any future assistance according to the implementation of this commitment, they said.

According to news reports, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the Quartet should have demanded that Israel end what he called its occupation and aggression.

Many leaders in the United States and Europe have already expressed their view that as long as Hamas does not renounce violence against Israel and disarm, it will remain on their lists of terror organizations.

The EU is the Palestinian Authority’s largest donor, giving it $606 million a year.

Washington is also warning that it will cut off its aid, worth $400 million, from the P.A.