U.S. official says Hamas-PLO government would prompt aid reassessment

Palestinians hold national flags as they celebrate after an announcement of a reconciliation agreement in Gaza City April 23, 2014

(Reuters) – The United States would have to reconsider its assistance to the Palestinians if Islamist group Hamas and the Palestinian Liberation Organization form a government together, a senior U.S. administration official said on Thursday.

Gaza-based Hamas – which is listed by the United States as a terrorist organization – and President Mahmoud Abbas’s West Bank-based PLO announced a unity pact on Wednesday, complicating U.S.-brokered peace talks with Israel that Washington is already struggling to extend past an April 29 deadline.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had warned Abbas against pursuing reconciliation with Hamas, convened his security cabinet to discuss Israel’s next moves.

“Any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to non-violence, recognition of the state of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations between the parties,” the U.S. official said, listing terms Hamas has long rejected…

Share