Rice: US will cut Palestinian security package

The Bush administration will reduce a proposed $86 million (€64.7 million) security assistance package to the Palestinian government in an effort to see that none of the money ends up with forces loyal to the radical Hamas movement. As she prepares to visit the Middle East later this week, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday she would soon send Congress a revised package that will ensure only security elements loyal to moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas receive the aid. "I have reformulated the plan, its almost ready to come to you," Rice told lawmakers. "It will request less money, precisely because some of the money I would have requested I could not fully account for." She did not provide specifics of the reduction but said the new plan would leave intact a "firewall" aimed at keeping the money away from Hamas, a partner in the new Palestinian unity government established last weekend.