European Union foreign ministers are meeting in Brussels to discuss support for an emerging Palestinian unity government that could replace the current Hamas-led one.
The ministers Friday are to debate whether to support a Palestinian plan to form a new government with the ruling Hamas movement and President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party.
Finland's foreign minister, Erkki Tuomioja, says the EU should view the new Palestinian government as an opportunity to renew the Middle East peace process. Finland holds the rotating EU presidency.
The European Union and the United States cut off aid to the Hamas-led government because it refuses to recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept past peace accords. Washington has cautioned against lifting those restrictions in the absence of details on the policies of the new unity government.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.