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August 3, 2005
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A large group of Republican members of the U.S. Congress will tour Israel during its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), the majority whip in the House of Representatives, will lead the tour of 15-20 members at the end of August. He said he hoped the group would tour the Gaza Strip during the evacuation of Jewish settlers there. Blunt said the congressmen would closely assess Palestinian requests for U.S. assistance. “It’s very important that whatever money goes to the Palestinians really goes to stability and peace,” Blunt told JTA on Tuesday. Blunt’s Democratic counterpart, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), is leading a similar tour just prior to the pullout.

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