Defund the Palestinian Authority?

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) called for the U.S. to halt financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority. Credit: U.S. Congress.

Should the United States suspend federal funding to the Palestinian Authority following the newly signed unity pact between the Fatah movement and the Gaza-based terror group Hamas? Some calls to that end are emerging from legislators and pro-Israel groups.

"This unity agreement, even if it not implemented, has very real and serious implications for the future of the Israeli-Palestinian relationship," U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) said Thursday. "When Hamas took control of the Palestinian parliament in 2006, I authored the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act, which was the foundation for the Senate version that was signed into law. This law strictly prohibits U.S. money to flow to a Palestinian Authority that is controlled by, and includes amongst its ranks, members of the terrorist organization, Hamas."

"It is time to stop giving American’s tax payer dollars, to the tune of $600 million a year, to the PA," the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) said in a press release Friday. "In addition to supporting terrorism and Palestinian incitement to violence, giving the money now contravenes United States Law. Hamas was designated as a U.S. foreign terrorist organization in 1997, making it illegal for any person in the U.S. or under U.S. jurisdiction to provide material support or resources to the entity."

Perhaps unsurprisingly, former President Jimmy Carter—author of the controversial 2006 book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid"—was more bullish on the Palestinian unity deal.

"When the Palestinians elect a new leadership—provided the elections are conducted in accordance with international standards—I strongly urge the international community to respect the democratic choices of the Palestinian people," Carter said.

Posted on April 25, 2014 .