U.S. to rethink aid to Palestinians if unity government formed
The U.S. may have to reconsider its aid to Palestinians if Hamas forms a government with the Palestinians Liberation Organization, Reuters reports.
A senior U.S. official said Thursday that “any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognition of the state of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations between the parties.”
“If a new Palestinian government is formed, we will assess it based on its adherence to the stipulations above, its policies and actions, and will determine any implications for our assistance based on U.S. law,” the official added.
According to Reuters, the U.S. said Wednesday that it found the unity pact between Hamas and the PLO disappointing, even though Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has insisted that the pact does not contradict peace talks with Israel.
But the U.S. State Department warned that the pact could derail the current peace talks.
“The timing was troubling and we were certainly disappointed in the announcement. This could seriously complicate our efforts. Not just our efforts but the efforts of the parties to extend their negotiations,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
Negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians faltered again recently when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled a planned session of peace talks on Wednesday.