FN reduserer kontakten med den Hamas-ledete regjeringen til «teknisk nivå», og følger dermed i sporene til USA og EU.

FN er medlem av den såkalte Kvartetten, som har et overordnet ansvar for en fredsløsning.

The United Nations advised its aid agencies on Tuesday to avoid having contacts with Hamas political leaders, but balked at U.S. calls to isolate the cash-strapped Palestinian government.

U.N. officials said the agencies would maintain contacts with rank-and-file officials in the new Hamas-led authority, while avoiding senior leaders in the Islamic militant movement, which won elections in January and took power two weeks ago.

The restrictions are likely to increase the sense of isolation felt by the Hamas leadership after the United States and the European Union cut off funding and contacts in the past week and the severing of links by Israel.

A senior U.N. official said U.N. aid agencies would «avoid political contact» with cabinet ministers and other high-level appointments in the new government.

But by maintaining contacts at a «technical level for operational purposes,» the United Nations bucked efforts by the United States to entirely shun the government and ministries which provide essential services.

«Contacts will continue at levels to ensure the continuation of humanitarian programs,» a U.N. official told Reuters.

U.N. officials say they are concerned that a cut-off in direct assistance to a Hamas-led Palestinian Authority could trigger a humanitarian crisis and hobble the very institutions that would be needed to run any future Palestinian state.

The United Nations is a member of the Quartet of Middle East mediators with the United States, the European Union and Russia.

To try to ease its growing financial crisis, Hamas has sought support from Arab allies, so far without success. On Tuesday, it sent a delegation to Iran on a similar mission.

A Hamas official said Arab states would face unrest at home if they failed to act soon to support the Palestinian Authority.

kilde: Reuters

UN Limits Contacts with Hamas Government