Hamas-Fatah Unity Threatens Judea and Samaria – Lieberman. U.S Reconsiders Aid to the Palestinian Authority
He expressed concern that the new Hamas-Fatah unity will open the door for Hamas terrorists to plunder citizens living in Judea and Samaria. He reminded the international community of the essential basics to any Arab-Israel peace agreement. These included ‘the abandoning of terror, the recognition of Israel and the honoring of previous agreements.’
He felt Hamas had been panicked into the agreement because their staunch Syrian ally is on the brink of collapse. Bashar Assad is in trouble he observed. On the other hand Fatah has lost the support of the deposed Hosni Mubarak in Egypt.
Israel is currently considering its options. Labor Minister Yitzchak Herzog asked that his government support establishing a Palestinian state if negotiations on permanent borders begin immediately.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is of a different opinion. “The Palestinian Authority needs to choose between peace with Israel and peace with Hamas. Peace with both is impossible because Hamas aspires to destroy the State of Israel and says so openly. It fires missiles at our cities; it fires anti-tank rockets at our children.
“I think that the very idea of this reconciliation shows the weakness of the Palestinian Authority and causes one to wonder if Hamas will seize control of Judea and Samaria like it seized control of the Gaza Strip. I hope that the Palestinian Authority chooses correctly, i.e. that it chooses peace with Israel. The choice is in its hands.”
At a Washington press conference US White House spokesman Tommy Vietor specifically described Hamas as a ‘terrorist organization.’
“The United States supports Palestinian reconciliation on terms which promote the cause of peace. Hamas, however, is a terrorist organization which targets civilians,” Vietor said in a statement. “To play a constructive role in achieving peace, any Palestinian government must accept the Quartet principles and renounce violence, abide by past agreements, and recognize Israel’s right to exist,” he said.
Top-ranking U.S. Congress members are calling for the immediate end to U.S aid to the Palestinian Authority.
House Foreign Chair Ilieana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla) highlighted a 2006 law that requires aid is to be provided to PA on condition violence is renounced and the Israel right to exist, accepted.
“U.S. taxpayer funds should not and must not be used to support those who threaten U.S. security, our interests and our vital ally Israel,” she said in a written statement. “According to existing U.S. law, such a hybrid government cannot be a recipient of U.S. taxpayer funds because the law stipulates that the P.A. government must recognize the Jewish state of Israel’s right to exist, among other things.”