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Democrat senators call for end of financial aid to the Palestinian Authority

Twenty-nine senators from President Obama's Democrat Party have called on his Administration to cut off financial aid given to the Palestinian Authority in response to the signing of the reconciliation agreement with Hamas. The call was initiated by Senators Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Robert Casey of Pennsylvania; a message written to President Obama was signed by a number of leading Democrat senators and heads of Senate committees.

The message was published in the Israeli media on 8th May: "The decision by the Palestinian Authority's head Mahmoud Abbas to form a government that includes the terrorist organisation HamasĀ – a designated terrorist groupĀ – threatens to derail the Middle East peace effort for the foreseeable future and to undermine the Palestinian Authority's relationship with the United States."

US law, it continued, "prohibits aid from being provided to a Palestinian government that includes Hamas unless the government and all its members have committed publicly to the Quartet principles. We urge you [President Obama] to conduct a review of the current situation and suspend aid should Hamas refuse to comply with Quartet conditions."

The Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth said on Sunday that the Democrats' initiative supported the Republican's position, which opposes Palestinian reconciliation and also wants to cut-off aid to the PA.

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