The Obama administration has issued subdued criticism of the “unity government” agreement between Fatah and Hamas, but so far the president hasn’t given much indication of what penalties (if any) the Palestinian Authority would face if it continues to pursue this route.
Cutting off aid would be a good start. Last night Sen. Mark Kirk tweeted his apparent support for this type of action: “Hamas+Fatah=probable suspension of US aid to Palestinian Authority…Hamas supports terror, killed 26 American citizens[.]”
Members of congress also issued calls for aid restrictions. “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,” said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, in a statement yesterday evening.
“A unity government with Hamas would put U.S. assistance and support at risk, based on restrictions I authored as Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations,” said Nita Lowey, the highest-ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Aid Committee. Rep. Gary Ackerman issued a statement that the U.S. would be “compelled by both law and decency” to withhold aid.
Not only would a unity government with Hamas undercut peace efforts, the U.S. would be sending taxpayer money to a terrorist organization. These statements from lawmakers represent the minimum of what we should be doing to prevent this action from going forward. Expect more members of congress to join this call.