US lawmakers signal Palestinian action could threaten funding

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas attends a meeting of the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank city of Ramallah March 31, 2014

(Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers said on Wednesday they were unhappy about the Palestinian leadership’s decision to sign more than a dozen international conventions, and warned it could trigger a cutoff of U.S. aid.

“It was extremely disappointing to me that (President Mahmoud Abbas) chose to take this action at the U.N. It is counterproductive and doesn’t move them closer to any final resolution,” New York Representative Nita Lowey, the top Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, said at a House hearing.

Abbas had pledged not to seek to join world bodies during U.S. brokered peace negotiations that are scheduled to run until the end of April. But he made a surprise announcement on Tuesday that he had signed the conventions, citing anger at Israel’s delay of a prisoner release.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry immediately announced that he was cancelling a trip to the region…

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