The Bush administration said Friday it would cut, suspend or shift up to $411 million in Palestinian aid over the next few years as part of an international effort to deny funds to the radical Hamas movement that has won control of the Palestinian government.
The European Union announced that it, too, was cutting off funds.
The Islamist group’s political wing won Palestinian parliamentary elections in January, leading to a line-by-line review of about $600 million to be paid over the next few years in U.S. assistance programs.
The result was the decision to end, at least for now, projects that could even indirectly benefit Hamas, such as road and waterworks construction. The United States will redirect about $100 million from canceled projects to humanitarian assistance such as food and medicine.
Israeli airstrike kills six in Gaza
An Israeli aerial strike in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday night incinerated a car the army said was carrying Palestinian militants. Palestinian medics said six people were killed, including at least one child who was in or near the vehicle.
Israeli forces in recent days have been mounting intensifying strikes, including naval barrages, artillery shelling, tank fire and airborne attacks, against Palestinian militants in the Strip.
Palestinian sources said the dead in Friday’s strike included a senior commander from the Popular Resistance Committees.
Motorist plows into protest picnic
A picnic by student protesters held in the middle of a busy Paris boulevard turned violent Friday when a frustrated motorist burst through the crowd, injuring 10. Outraged students set upon the driver, overturning his car before police stepped in.
The scene in the Latin Quarter highlighted the increasing unruliness of college and high school students leading protests against a new jobs law for youths.
But spring break, which starts this weekend, may succeed where politicians have failed in ending the protests. With Alpine ski slopes and Mediterranean beaches calling, high school students in particular say they will have to stop their protests to vacation with mom and dad.