House Republican to introduce bill to slash PA funding

Via the NYSun:

WASHINGTON – Congress is moving quickly in the face of Hamas’s victory in the Palestinian elections to slash American funding for the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations and ensure that America moves to isolate the new regime.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican of Florida, will introduce House legislation this week to slash American funding to the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations; designate the Palestinian Authority as a “terrorist sanctuary,” and close down some Palestinian Authority offices in America as part of a reduction of Palestinian-American diplomatic ties.

The bill would be the first official move in Washington toward cutting funding to the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority, as concern about the terrorist organization’s electoral victory has prompted increasingly vocal calls on Capitol Hill to stop aid to the Palestinian Arabs.

The bill is expected to be introduced tomorrow when the House reconvenes for President Bush’s State of the Union address, and will start in the House International Relations Committee. Ms. Ros-Lehtinen is chairwoman of the committee’s Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia, which has congressional jurisdiction over the Palestinian Authority.

“Abu Mazen and the PA leadership were given numerous opportunities to prove what they’re made of – to prove that they’re committed to peace and security,” Ms. Ros-Lehtinen said yesterday of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas of the Fatah Party, also known as Abu Mazen. “They showed their stripes. Even after Israel withdrew from Gaza, they refused to disarm Hamas and other terrorists, and they allowed them to gain strength.

“We must ensure that taxpayer funds are not used to assist, directly or indirectly, those who carry out terrorist attacks and those who allow these attacks to continue by doing nothing to combat terror,” the congresswoman said.


It’ll be interesting to see who in the House and (presuming it passes) the Senate puts up a fight against this bill – and why.

(Hat tip: Atlas Shrugs)

In related news, Hamas is demanding Israel change its flag:

Shortly after making his comments about the Hamas, Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar said from Gaza that Israel must change its flag. “Israel must remove the two blue stripes from its national flag”, said Zahar. “The stripes on the flag are symbols of occupation. They signify Israel’s borders stretching from the River Euphrates to the River Nile.”

Israel’s national flag, a blue Star of David set between two blue stripes, was designed to resemble a Jewish prayer shawl which traditionally has stripes.

When asked whether the Hamas would renounce terrorism, Zahar said in a CNN interview, “What is the international definition of terrorism? When (Israeli planes) attack houses by F-16, just when they are using helicopters, when they are killing people and children and removing our agriculture system, this is terrorism.”

I wonder if Jimmy Carter would agree? Or maybe the UN?

More on PA funding via the WaPo: Rice Rules Out Aiding Hamas-Led Government

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