U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement regarding implications of the Hamas-Fatah unity agreement. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"Though the EU may mistakenly hail the Fatah-Hamas unity agreement as a welcome step, this is anything but, and Secretary Kerry must make Abu Mazen understand in no uncertain terms that opening up the Palestinian Authority to include Hamas will trigger the cutting off of all U.S. assistance to it. This unity agreement, even if it not implemented, has very real and serious implications for the future of the Israeli-Palestinian relationship. When Hamas took control of the Palestinian parliament in 2006, I authored the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act, which was the foundation for the Senate version that was signed into law. This law strictly prohibits U.S. money to flow to a Palestinian Authority that is controlled by, and includes amongst its ranks, members of the terrorist organization, Hamas.
Now is not the time for the Administration to shrink away from this challenge, but to reassert the leadership the U.S. has been sorely lacking in the region for quite some time now. President Obama must make it clear that he is willing to fully and vigorously enforce this law and not seek ways to circumvent or undermine it.