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Kucinich backs P.A. funding

The United States should fund the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority, Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich said.Kucinich, a U.S. congressman from Ohio, blamed U.S. and international policy isolating the Palestinian Authority as long as it is governed by Hamas, a terrorist group, for the factional violence now ravaging the Gaza Strip. “As a result of the suspension of international aid, the number of Palestinians living in deep poverty, defined as those living on less than 50 cents a day, nearly doubled to more than 1 million people, according to the United Nations Relief Works Agency,” he said in a statement this weekend. “The suspension of aid to the Palestinian Authority may have also helped trigger the factional violence. Nearly 80,000 Palestinian security forces have been denied their salaries for nearly a year. Many of them have resorted to violence to demand their salaries. Additionally, the fact that Western donors concerned with the humanitarian crisis have channeled aid to Fatah-led institutions may have increased Fatah-Hamas tensions.” Fatah is the relatively moderate party led by Mahmoud Abbas, the P.A. president. Israel and the United States have backed efforts to bolster troops loyal to Abbas.