US passes resolution halting PA aid

Symbolic, non-binding resolution approved by US Senate 418-1.

By NATHAN GUTTMAN, AP
February 16, 2006 02:04
rice 298 ap

rice 298 ap. (photo credit: AP [file])

 
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The US House of Representatives passed a symbolic resolution late Wednesday expressing support for the shutting down aid to the Palestinian Authority if Hamas continues to advocate the destruction of Israel. Hamas, which is included in the US State Department's list of foreign terrorist organizations, won recent Palestinian elections and is due to be sworn in to parliament Saturday. The Senate approved the non-binding resolution that passed the House on Wednesday, 418-1. Appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reiterated that US tax dollars would not be given to a Palestinian government in which Hamas plays a leading role. In response to a remark by Senator George Allen (R-VA), who said he did not want to see "one penny" of American money given to the PA, Rice replied "neither do I." Rice did stress, however, that the US would continue its support for humanitarian projects in the Palestinian territories - as long as these funds did not pass through the Palestinian government, and after each program was reviewed. Rice also met Wednesday with a small group of Jewish leaders to discuss the recent developments in the region and the US reaction to Hamas's election victory.

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