Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal 311 Reu.
(photo credit: Khaled Al Hariri / Reuters)
WASHINGTON – US Senators sent a letter to the EU Thursday urging that Hamas not
be taken off its terror list following The Jerusalem Post’s report that the PA
was lobbying for such a change.
“We urge you to encourage the Palestinian
Authority to put more pressure on Hamas to renounce violence, recognize the
Jewish State of Israel and accept all prior agreements, rather than pursuing
diplomatic schemes that undermine the peace process,” stated the
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It was co-authored by Mark Kirk (R-Illinois) and Bill Nelson
(D-Florida), and signed by 14 other colleagues from both sides of the
The letter to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton noted
“concern” over reports that the PA was pushing for the removal of Hamas from the
EU terror list to facilitate the formation of a national unity government
between the Islamic party and the secular Fatah.
The story was reported
in the Post
last week, as the two Palestinian groups try to respond to public
demands sparked by the protests rocking the Arab world that they stop their
infighting and unite.
The senators’ letter notes Hamas culpability in the
death of at least 26 American citizens, and Hamas’s refusal to abide by demands
to recognize Israel’s right to exist, renounce violence and respect previous
agreements laid out by the Quartet, of which the EU is a member.
this week on Capitol Hill, a group of members of Congress is trying to strip the
president of his power to waive a law requiring him to move the embassy to
The legislation has the backing of 10 Republicans, including
sponsor Dan Burton (RIndiana), chairman of the House’s Europe Subcommittee,
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida), chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs
Committee, Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Middle East Subcommittee
and two Democrats.
The prominent roles played by the bill’s Republican
supporters all but guarantee its passage in the Foreign Affairs Committee, and
referral to the full House.
President Obama, like his predecessors Bush
and Clinton, has consistently invoked the national security waiver in the 1995
law that first required such a move. A law removing such a waiver likely would
be ignored by the White House as unconstitutionally challenging the president’s
executive prerogative in setting foreign policy.
JTA contributed to this