BRUSSELS — The European Union failed again Thursday to agree on the legal status of 13 exiled Palestinian militants and conditions for them to enter the EU under a deal with Israel.
The militants, who were allowed by Israel to go into exile, are staying under heavy guard at a hotel in Cyprus after spending five weeks in Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity surrounded by Israeli forces.
A decision on the men was deferred until today.
EU states have been wrangling since last week to decide the destinations and legal status of the men, while Cyprus, a candidate for EU membership, has twice extended a deadline for their departure.
Six countries--Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal--have agreed to receive the men. Diplomats said it was unclear whether others would also offer to take them in.
Some countries say their laws prevent them from taking in the 13, whom Israel has accused of planning attacks on Israelis.