US to work with, fund Palestine unity government

2014-06-03 11:52
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Washington - The United States said on Monday it plans to work with and fund the new Palestinian unity government formed after an agreement by the Fatah and Hamas factions, and Israel immediately voiced its disappointment with the US decision.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas swore in a unity government on Monday in a reconciliation deal with Hamas Islamists, who advocate Israel's destruction.

The United States views Hamas as a "terrorist" organisation and the US Congress has imposed restrictions on US funding for the Palestinian Authority, which typically runs at $500m a year, in the event of a unity government.

Senior US lawmakers said on Monday Washington should suspend aid to the new unity government until it is sure of the Islamist group's commitment to pursuing peace with Israel.

In its first comment since the Palestinian government was sworn in, however, the State Department stressed that it regarded the new Cabinet as made up of technocrats and that it was willing to do business with it.

"At this point, it appears that President Abbas has formed an interim technocratic government that does not include ministers affiliated with Hamas," State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters at her daily press briefing.

"Based on what we know now we intend to work with this government but will be watching closely to ensure that it upholds principles that President Abbas reiterated today," she said, referring to Abbas' commitment to honour past peace deals and the principles underlying the peace process with Israel.

In Jerusalem, an Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said in a statement to reporters: "We are deeply disappointed by the State Department regarding working with the Palestinian unity government".

The statement said Washington could advance peacemaking by urging Abbas "to end his pact with Hamas and return to peace talks with Israel".

New government's policies

Asked if her comments meant that US aid would keep flowing to the Palestinian Authority, Psaki replied: "It does, but we will continue to evaluate the composition and policies of the new government and calibrate our approach accordingly."

By law, US aid to the Palestinians may not benefit Hamas "or any entity effectively controlled by Hamas, any power-sharing government of which Hamas is a member, or that results from an agreement with Hamas and over which Hamas exercises undue influence."

Annual US aid to the Palestinians has run at about $500m in recent years, although it fell to roughly $440m in the fiscal year that ended on 30 September 2013, according to a Congressional Research Service report.

Senior US lawmakers said on Monday Washington should suspend aid while assessing the new unity government.

"Funding for the Palestinians is off-the-table until it is clear that the unity government is committed to peace and security," said Republican US Representative Kay Granger of Texas, chairperson of the House of Representatives State and Foreign Operations subcommittee.

"Hamas, not just members of the new government, must acknowledge Israel's right to exist, renounce violence, and adhere to previous international agreements," she said in a statement.
Read more on:    hamas  |  benjamin netanyahu  |  mahmoud abbas  |  us  |  palestine  |  israel  |  middle east peace
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Travel

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is an emphasis on work. There may be some restrictions, or delays or extra responsibilities. It is all about rhythm and...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.