U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, commented on the signing of an agreement between Fatah, Hamas, and other Palestinian groups. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"Let's face reality: assistance to the Palestinian Authority will end up benefiting Hamas. Any nation that continues to fund the PA will be bankrolling a pro-militant, anti-Israel entity. If any government, or the UN, recognizes a Palestinian state, they will be recognizing a terror sanctuary that will threaten Israel and all free democracies.
"Hamas is a Foreign Terrorist Organization that calls Bin Laden a "holy warrior,' remains determined to destroy Israel, and is responsible for the deaths of Israelis and Americans. Now, Hamas will be a part of the Palestinian Authority, without having to recognize Israel's right to exist, renounce violence, or accept previous agreements.
"Abu Mazen, head of the PA and Fatah, embraced Hamas's leader and called Hamas "our brothers.' In contrast, Abu Mazen still refuses even to directly negotiate with Israel. Abu Mazen is also undermining any chances for peace with Israel by pursuing unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state from foreign governments and the UN.
"The Administration must follow U.S. law and immediately cut off all assistance to the PA. The U.S. also must announce that it will veto any UN Security Council resolution recognizing a Palestinian state, and will oppose any other efforts in international bodies to recognize such a state."
BACKGROUND: Ros-Lehtinen authored the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006, which became Public Law 109-446 on December 21, 2006. The law conditions U.S. assistance to the Palestinian leadership on the latter's compliance with its obligations to renounce and combat violent extremism, abide by its existing agreements, and recognize Israel's right to exist.