88 Senators: PA Unity with Hamas Jeopardizes Peace and Continued U.S. Assistance
June 12, 2014
AIPAC commends the bipartisan group of 88 senators that sent a letter to President Obama expressing grave concern over the recent formation of a Palestinian Authority (PA) unity government supported by the terrorist organization Hamas. According to the senators, such a government “represents a serious setback to efforts to achieve peace.” The letter urges President Obama to impress upon PA President Mahmoud Abbas the need to cease any alliance with Hamas and return to the negotiating table with Israel. It also makes clear that Hamas’ role in the formation of the government has “undermined Congressional support for U.S. assistance to the Palestinians” and that such assistance should only be provided when "we have confidence that this new government is in full compliance with restrictions contained in current law."
AIPAC applauds the leadership of Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME) for initiating this important statement. Below is the text of the letter.
http://www.aipac.org/~/media/Publications/Policy and Politics/Source Materials/Congressional Action/2014/CardinCollins.pdf
Dear Mr. President:
We are appreciative of your Administration’s dedication to achieving a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Unfortunately, the recent formation of a Palestinian Authority unity government supported by Hamas, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization that has never publicly accepted the Quartet principles, represents a serious setback to efforts to achieve peace. We are gravely concerned that the formation of this government and President Abbas’ renewed effort to upgrade the status of the Palestinians within international organizations will jeopardize direct negotiations with Israel to achieve a two-state solution.
By its actions and inaction, Hamas has demonstrated it is not a partner for peace. Hamas has openly called for Israel’s destruction and last month Hamas leaders again repeated their refusal to meet recognized international demands: recognition of Israel, renunciation of terror, and acceptance of previous Israel-PLO agreements.
Recent events have consequences as to U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority as provided for in the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 and restrictions contained in the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2014, including prohibiting foreign assistance to Hamas or any power-sharing government of which Hamas is a member or over which Hamas has undue influence. These troubling developments, including the role played by Hamas in the formation of the government, have undermined Congressional support for U.S. assistance to the Palestinians. Any assistance should only be provided when we have confidence that this new government is in full compliance with the restrictions contained in current law. We urge you to continue to impress on President Abbas the need for him to cease any alliance with terrorist organizations such as Hamas and to return to the negotiating table with Israel.