Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told a delegation of US Democratic congressmen visiting the country Wednesday that he is committed to peace with the Palestinians to be achieved through direct negotiations without preconditions, Israel Radio reported.

According to the prime minister, if the United Nations makes a unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state at the General Assembly this September, it will harm any future chances of achieving a peaceful solution.

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The current economic crisis in the US will have no impact at all on US financial assistance to Israel, US Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said Thursday. However, the Democratic Whip, is leading the delegation of 26 US congressmen on a one week visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.


At a press conference in Jerusalem, Hoyer said he wanted to make it "very clear" that no financial challenges faced in the US "will have any adverse effect on American determination to meet its promise to Israel in the form of aid for its qualitative [military] superiority, or for its economic security."

Hoyer said he did not believe that in any way the financial challenges confronting America "would have any adverse effect on the economic relationship, or assistance, we give to Israel." Hoyer said this assessment is bipartisan and that a similar message will be brought to Israel next week when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) will head up two republican delegations, numbering 55 congressmen, that will visit the country.

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