WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s administration said yesterday it plans to work with and fund the new Palestinian unity government, and Israel immediately voiced its disappointment with the decision also criticized by some US lawmakers.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas swore in a unity government yesterday in a reconciliation deal with Hamas Islamists, who advocate Israel’s destruction.
The United States views Hamas as a “terrorist” organization and the US Congress has imposed restrictions on funding for the Palestinian Authority, which typically runs at $500 million a year, in the event of a unity government.
Senior US lawmakers said Washington should suspend aid until it is sure of the Islamist group’s commitment to pursuing peace with Israel.
In its first comment since the Palestinian government was sworn in, however, the State Department stressed that it regarded the new cabinet as made up of technocrats and was willing to do business with it.