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Israel Accepts Quartet Aid Plan for Palestinians


Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni says her government accepts a plan to provide direct delivery of aid to the Palestinian people - bypassing the Hamas-led Palestinian government.

Livni told Israeli radio Wednesday, the so-called Mideast Quartet's decision to create an international mechanism to provide aid to the Palestinians is in line with Israel's position that humanitarian aid should continue.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced the plan Tuesday in New York, after a meeting of the quartet: the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations.

Mr. Annan did not spell out details of the plan, but repeated the quartet's demands that Hamas renounce violence and recognize Israel.

Speaking in the West Bank city of Ramallah Wednesday, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh criticized the United States and its allies for making demands on his government. He did not, however, reject the aid plan.

Also on Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the United States will send $10 million in medicine and aid to the Palestinians.

The United States and other Western nations have frozen aid to the Hamas-led Palestinian government because it refuses to condemn violence and recognize Israel. Israel also has frozen the monthly transfer of tax revenues collected for the Palestinian Authority.

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