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In Light Of Palestinian Unity Deal, U.S. Threatens To Cut Aid To Palestinian Authority
The United States issued a statement on Wednesday denouncing the provisional unity deal signed between the rival Fateh movement of President Mahmoud Abbas, and the Hamas movement. The U.S. said that such a deal could lead Washington to cut U.S.. aid to the Palestinian Authority (P.A.).
[Palestinian Unity - Carlos Latuff]
According to “Your Jewish News”, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, U.S. House Affairs Chairwoman, issued a statement denouncing the unity deal, and stating that under existing U.S. laws, the P.A. cannot receive fund from the U.S.
Ros-Lehtinen further stated that Abbas’s reach to Hamas, and his efforts for reconciliation “with a group considered by the U.S.. as a terrorist organization, will oblige Washington to end its aid”.
He said that should the P.A. in the West Bank reconcile with Hamas, “it will be aligning itself with a terrorist group that seeks death and destruction to Israel”.
Since the P.A. was established in mid-nineties, the United States has provided it with financial aid that amounts to more than $3.5 billion. It is also the largest donor to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in the region. Israel receives more than 3.6 Billion a year from the United States.
The Jewish News said that a White House official also dubbed Hamas as a terrorist group, adding that any government in Palestine must “renounce violence” and respect previously signed peace deals.
Several republican and democratic congress members are pushing towards freezing all aid to the P.A. under the claim that the Fateh-Hamas unity is “a recipe for terror”.
It is worth mentioning that the United States had repeatedly threatened to stop U.S. aid the Palestinian Authority, while several American lawmakers are demanding an American response to the Palestinian intention to declare an independent state this coming September.
The United States and Israel have launched a large-scale international campaign meant to block the Palestinian declaration of an independent state. The P.A. and president Mahmoud Abbas on the other hand, also held talks with several countries to gather support for the September declaration of the state.
On April 21, President Abbas held talks with French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, who said that Paris supports the declaration of the state.
Germany, on the other hand, is opposing the move. Three days ago, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, said that she will be holding a meeting with President Abbas during his visit upcoming to Germany on May 5th, in order to try to convince him to change his mind.