Hoyer, Cantor circulate resolution urging PA sanctions


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Leaders of both parties in the U.S. House of Representatives are circulating a resolution calling for sanctions against the Palestinian Authority if it pursues statehood recognition and remains reconciled with Hamas.

The proposed nonbinding resolution, circulated this week by the offices of Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the House majority leader, and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the minority whip, "urges the administration to consider suspending assistance to the Palestinian Authority pending a review of the unity agreement" with Hamas and "affirms that Palestinian efforts to circumvent direct negotiations and pursue recognition of statehood prior to agreement with Israel will harm United States-Palestinian relations and will have serious implications for the United States assistance programs for the Palestinians and the Palestinians Authority."

PA officials last month reconciled with Hamas. The terms of the deal are vague, and it is not clear yet whether it would violate American laws banning assistance to governments that include Hamas members as Cabinet-level officials.

The Palestinian Authority also has been lobbying internationally for recognition of Palestine while maintaining that the action does not amount to a declaration of statehood.

The Hoyer-Cantor resolution appears to be timed for next week’s annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference.

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