US Congress calls for ban on Hamas

Sunday, December 18, 2005 | 
The US Congress voted 397 to 17 to freeze aid to the Palestinian Authority if Hamas takes part in parliamentary elections. Congress resolved that “terrorist organizations such as Hamas should not be permitted to participate in Palestinian elections until such organizations recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, cease incitement, condemn terrorism, and permanently disarm and dismantle their terrorist infrastructure.” A senior official in the Fatah party, Hamas’ main opponent in local elections, rejected the US decision. “We don't need to coordinate our internal policies in accordance with what is decided there in Congress," Fares Kadoura said. “No one can dictate to the Palestinian people their method of government.” Meanwhile, the European Union warned that it might also halt tens of millions of dollars of aid to the PA if Hamas wins the election and fails to renounce violence.

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