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Friday, April 24, 2009

Congress may restrict aid to 'Palestinians' to prevent Obama from dealing with 'Palestinian unity government'

This is from the Washington Post's report of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's congressional testimony on Thursday. I discussed another aspect of her testimony here.
Clinton took flak from some lawmakers about the administration's efforts to keep its options open regarding the creation of a Palestinian unity government. The government is split between Fatah, which controls the West Bank, and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. Hamas, which the State Department considers a terrorist group, won Palestinian legislative elections in 2006, but the United States has refused to deal with the group until it meets conditions, including recognition of Israel.

Clinton indicated that if a unity government is formed, the administration would be willing to deal with that government, even if it contained Hamas ministers, as long as the government agreed to those conditions, much as the United States currently deals with the elected Lebanese government in which the militant group Hezbollah controls 11 out of 30 cabinet seats. But several lawmakers, including Rep. Nita M. Lowey (D-N.Y.), chair of the foreign operations subcommittee, and Rep. Mark Steven Kirk (R-Ill.) indicated that the House may seek to restrict aid to the Palestinian Authority, which would limit the administration's flexibility.
In other words, if Fatah and Hamas reunite without Hamas accepting the quartet conditions for contact with Hamas (renouncing terror, recognizing Israel, agreeing to be bound by past agreements), Congress will step in to prevent the Obama administration from dealing with that 'Palestinian unity government.' Good for Congress!


At 8:39 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Congress would merely be forcing the Administration to abide by the Quartet's and the Road Map's conditions. Hamas already rejected adherence to them.

At 10:59 PM, Blogger E.T.Cook said...

Restrictions on funding given to a unity government were placed into Obama's supplementary budget request already.

This analysis is surprisingly superficial, given the typical caliber of your work.


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