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Letter urges Rice to hold fast on P.A.


A bipartisan letter circulating in the U.S. Senate urges
Condoleezza Rice to resist international pressure to end the isolation of the
Palestinian Authority.

“We urge you to continue to hold firm and insist that these
very basic principles not change,” says the letter to the U.S. secretary of
state initiated by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) “No
direct aid and no contacts with any members of a Palestinian Authority that does not
explicitly and unequivocally recognize Israel’s right to exist, renounce terror
and accept previous agreements.”

Russia is pressing others dealing with the Palestinians to
allow assistance to resume now that Hamas, a terrorist group, and the
relatively moderate Fatah have signed a national unity agreement that would
“respect” prior agreements. Israel and the United States want a more explicit
commitment to recognize Israel and end terrorism.

Nelson and Ensign are seeking signatories before sending the
letter; activists attending next week’s American Israel Public Affair Committee
annual policy forum will lobby for the letter.

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