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U.S. Must Withhold Funds from Any Hamas Backed Government, Says Ros-Lehtinen


Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement regarding the formation of a Fatah-Hamas unity government:

"Whether it's a government comprised of Hamas technocrats or an interim government that includes more active members of Hamas, the Administration must not fall for this latest scheme by Abu Mazen and Hamas. The Palestinian leaders know that a unity government would trigger U.S. law to cut off funding, so now they are trying to find loopholes in order to say that they are still abiding by the conditions our law's mandate. This contortionist act, akin to an embarrassingly evil Cirque du Soleil trick without any of the charm, is disingenuous at best, but this is the type of scheme you would expect from Abu Mazen and his cronies as they continue to try to undermine the peace process and fail to live up to past agreements with Israel.

"The PA deciding to partner with a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization once again reaffirms that Abu Mazen is not a true partner for peace and the U.S. must respond by withholding assistance to any Hamas backed unity government. The Administration must not fall for Abu Mazen's latest ploy and instead enforce U.S. law and cut off funding."

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