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News Brief

May 2, 2006
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A U.S. Treasury official arrived in Israel to discuss ways of isolating Hamas. Stuart Levey, the Treasury under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, was to meet with Israeli counterparts and discuss “joint efforts to combat terrorist financing,” U.S. officials told Reuters. Now that Hamas, a terrorist group, is governing the Palestinian Authority, the United States has resisted efforts by France and the Arab League to pay P.A. salaries. The West otherwise is committed to isolating the Hamas-led government. The Palestinian Authority is by far the biggest employer in the territories, and P.A. officials say a cutoff in salaries could lead to chaos. The United States has told banks that have handled P.A. salary accounts in the past — including Israel’s Bank Hapoalim and Jordan’s Arab Bank — that they face sanctions if they continue to do so.

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