US lawmaker slams Hamas payments

Eric Cantor says he'll oppose further PA aid if Fayad fails to explain transfer.

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August 13, 2007 23:36
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US Congressman Eric Cantor (R-VA) sent a letter to PA Prime Minister Salam Fayad over the weekend demanding an explanation for his government's transfer of salary payments to Hamas a day after he assured a large delegation of Republican congressmen that his government would not seek reconciliation with Hamas. "Without further explanation from you, I will feel compelled, upon returning to Washington, to forewarn my colleagues in the Congress that any visits with your government offer little value toward bringing peace and security to Palestinians and Israelis," said Cantor, the third-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives. "Furthermore, I will help lead opposition in Congress to any proposed call for additional US taxpayer dollars being sent to the Palestinian Authority," the letter read. Cantor's office released the letter a day before a delegation of 18 Democratic congressmen were scheduled to meet Fayad. "You can imagine my shock and disappointment when our delegation learned from newspaper reports that your government is providing financial assistance to Hamas," Cantor wrote to Fayad. "This came less 24-hours after you looked me and several other US Congressmen in the eye and vowed that your government would not seek rapprochement with Hamas." An official in Cantor's office said he had not yet received a reply from Fayad.


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