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Israeli Foreign Minister Warns Europeans of Hamas Threat


The Israeli foreign minister has been meeting European leaders to warn against funding a Palestinian government led by Hamas, which is listed as a terrorist group by the European Union and the United States.

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has made stops in Vienna, Paris, and London to deliver her warning against Hamas.

Livni told a news conference in London January's victory by Hamas in the Palestinian elections has fueled aspirations of Islamic militants throughout the Middle East region.

"I believe that there is a connection between what we see after the elections in the Palestinian Authority, in Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon and others," she said. "And I believe this is a threat not only to Israel, but to the international community."

She rules out any dealings with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas representatives, unless the group meets three conditions demanded by the international community.

"It is clear, to accept the existence of Israel, to renounce violence and terrorism and to accept former agreements between Israel and the Palestinians," she said. "This is not negotiable."

Livni says a way needs to be found to meet the humanitarian needs of the Palestinians through organizations not controlled by the Palestinian Authority.

The European Union this week agreed to provide more than $140 million to the Palestinians before Hamas takes office. The EU money will be channeled through U.N. agencies and the World Bank.

In London, Livni held talks with Prime Minister Tony Blair, whose government has emphasized that while Hamas's electoral victory is legitimate, the group must give up violence and recognize Israel if it wants international support.