E.U. aid chief: Hamas responsible for Gaza


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The European Union aid chief said that Hamas bears an "enormous responsibility" for what happened in the Gaza Strip.

Louis Michel, the European commissioner for development and humanitarian aid, added during his visit Monday to Gaza that "Hamas is a terror movement and needs to be treated as such and held responsible for its actions."

While in Gaza, Michel announced more than $75 million in aid to vulnerable Palestinian populations through the European Commission’s 2009 Global Plan. Approximately $41.5 million will be earmarked to respond to the dramatic humanitarian situation in Gaza, and about $26 million will be for assistance to the West Bank. The rest will go to Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, according to a statement from the European Commission.

Michel was scheduled to visit Sderot and meet with Israeli and Palestinian officials.

He condemned Israel’s bombardment of the economic infrastructure of Gaza and called on Israel to open its border crossings to food and medicine, as well as building materials.

Hamas criticized Michel’s comments, according to reports.

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