Abbas says Hamas 'can't survive' without changes

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday that Hamas "can't survive" if it continues to ignore international demands that it refrain from violence and recognize Israel . "They should adapt to international standards, they should be part of the international community. Without that I don't think they can survive, I don't think they can deliver," Abbas told The Associated Press, a day after addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg .

"Whether it is reasonable to expect a change or not we have to give them a chance. They've been in the office less than 1.5 months. They should take their chance," Abbas said. "We don't want a punishment for the Palestinian people."

Washington and the European Union consider Hamas a terrorist organization and have demanded the group renounce violence and recognize Israel . Abbas said the Palestinian people may lose patience with Hamas if it does not eventually adapt to international standards.

"I don't think people will be satisfied, because they will be deprived of everything because of Hamas' policies," he said. The EU, the U.S. and other donors froze hundreds of millions of dollars in direct aid to the Palestinian government after the Islamic militant group Hamas won elections in January. The EU is currently looking for a new mechanism of channeling funds to the Palestinian people while bypassing Hamas, reports the AP.


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