GAZA, Jan 30 (Reuters): Palestinian police, angry at Hamas's election victory, took over the parliament building in Gaza Monday, firing in the air, witnesses said.
About 30 policemen entered the parliamentary compound, which police had briefly occupied Saturday. Some took up positions on the roof and on top of a nearby building, the witnesses said.
Many policemen, loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah, fear control of the Palestinian security force will be transferred to Hamas, an Islamic militant group that swept to victory over the long-dominant faction in a parliamentary election Wednesday.
There were no reports of casualties in the latest move into the parliamentary complex in Gaza City.
On Saturday, police left the area after protesting against calls by Hamas leaders to set up a Palestinian army which would include members of the Islamic group.
Another AFP report adds: Hamas must change and renounce violence if it wants Europe's support, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said Monday as EU foreign ministers met to discuss the militant group's shock election win.
The European Union (EU), the biggest donor of aid to the Palestinians, is mulling its relations with the Palestinian Authority after last week's poll victory by an organisation which has mounted countless suicide attacks on Israel.
"They have been a terrorist organisation. They have to change their methods and they have to accept that violence is incompatible with democracy," he told the news agency as he arrived for a day of talks in Brussels.
"They have to also recognise Israel, because in the end what we are trying to do is construct a two-state model and to do that, you have to talk to the other," he added.
The Brussels meeting was the first chance for the 25-nation bloc's ministers to talk since the long-ruling Fatah faction lost last week's Palestinian elections at the hands of the militant Islamic group.
The EU is unlikely to take any rash decisions. Diplomats stress it has time while waiting for a Palestinian government to be formed, and in the meantime Palestinian Authority head Mahmud Abbas remains its key contact.
"We would like very much to support President Abbas at this period of time," said Solana. "This is what we are going to do today."
In addition to its financial assistance, the EU is also one of the four sponsors of the stalled Mideast peace roadmap. Since 2003 it has given about 500 million euros (613 million dollars) annually.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned starkly at the weekend it would be "unthinkable" for the EU to continue to fund the authority if Hamas-which is on an EU terror blacklist-does not renounce violence against Israel.