Clinton. No direct aid t Hamas
Photo: Reuters

Report: US seeks to aid Hamas-backed gov't

Obama administration asks Congress to change US law so as to enable allocation of funds to Palestinian unity government that includes terror organization. Move sparks outrage among Israel supporters

The Obama administration is laying the groundwork for dialogue with a Palestinian unity government that includes Hamas, the Los Angeles Times reported on Monday.


According to the LA Times, the administration has asked Congress to amend US law so as to enable continued financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority even if Hamas becomes part of a future unity government.


US law requires the PA to adhere to three conditions in order to be eligible for aid: Recognizing Israel, renouncing violence and accepting past agreements. Hamas, as an organization, does not meet these conditions.


According to the proposed change, if the rival Palestinian factions reach a power-sharing agreement, the US would like to provide aid as long as the government members backed by Hamas meet the administration's criteria.


This new initiative, reported the LA Times, signals a break from the policy of the Bush administration, which opposed a unity government.


The move has already sparked anger among Israel supporters in Congress. Rep. Mark Steven Kirk told Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at a House hearing last week that the administration's proposal is akin to agreeing to support a government that "only has a few Nazis in it."


Clinton, who is seeking support for the move that would enable the transfer of $840 million in aid funds to the Palestinians, assured Congress that no assistance would be given to Hamas or an entity controlled by Hamas.


She added that the US will not recognize a Palestinian unity government that does not meet the Quartet's criteria.


פרסום ראשון: 04.27.09, 09:20
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