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Agudah: Reconsider PA aid after settler’s murder

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WASHINGTON (JTA) — Agudath Israel of America called on the Obama administration to reconsider assistance to the Palestinian Authority in the wake of the murder of a Jewish settler.

In a letter last week to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Agudah executive vice president Rabbi David Zweibel wrote that PA President Mahmoud Abbas did not condemn last month’s drive-by shooting of Rabbi Avshalom Meir Hai, but he expressed condolences to the families of Hai’s alleged killers after three were killed in a retaliatory raid by the Israeli army.

Zweibel also noted that the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade, one of the two groups that claimed responsibility for the shooting near Shavei Shomoron in the northern West Bank, claims to be affiliated with Fatah, Abbas’ party.

"The provisions of the aid we are offering the Palestinians require that it will only be transferred to a Palestinian government whose members accept the conditions of the international Quartet, including recognizing Israel, renouncing violence and accepting past agreements signed with the Jewish State," Zweibel said in his letter, which was copied to the White House as well as congressional leaders and foreign relations committees. "Mr. Abbas’ silence at the murder of Rabbi Hai by a group that claims affiliation with the military arm of Fatah, and his disturbing reaction to the killing of three of Rabbi Hai’s murderers, must lead us to reconsider whether Fatah meets these criteria."

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