Palestinians got EUR651 million ($867 million) in aid from the European Union despite the latter?s boycott of the Hamas-led Palestinian government. The assistance is 27% higher than last year and funneled directly to people and projects through a funding mechanism set up by the EU, United States, Russia and the United Nations. The government takeover of Islamic terror group Hamas fueled the aid cutoff. However, Western governments and aid groups have found ways to provide aid to Palestinians that bypass the government. EU, the biggest donor, gives EUR500 million ($666 million) a year to UN assistance programs and NGO projects and EUR70 million ($93 million) to the World Bank trust fund. Meanwhile, Hamas officials say that Arab countries contribute to pay for government expenses. (Source: EU: Aid to Palestinians greater than in previous years/Associated Press)

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