House letter urges E.U. on P.A.

A congressional letter urging the
European Union to maintain its isolation of the Palestinian Authority garnered
signatures from more than half of the U.S. House of Representatives. The letter,
with 237 signatures, was presented to Javier Solana, the top E.U. foreign policy
official, when he met with the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday.

The
European Union has said it will maintain for now its isolation of the
Palestinian Authority in the wake of a national unity agreement that unites
Hamas, a terrorist group, and the relatively moderate Fatah. However, individual
nations, including France, have ended the isolation. The international community
cut off the Palestinian Authority after Hamas won elections last year.

Israel
and the United States say the new agreement falls short of conditions to end the
isolation, including an end to terrorism and recognition of Israel.

“We strongly
urge you to maintain restrictions of direct aid to any Palestinian government”
until the government fulfills its obligations, said the letter, initiated by
Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.), chairman of the House’s European subcommittee,
and Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.), its ranking member. The American Israel
Public Affairs Committee strongly backs the letter.

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