US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday defended lax new conditions for providing the Palestinian Authority with American financial aid that the Obama administration would like to implement.
Speaking before wary congressional leaders on Capitol Hill, Clinton promised that none of the $840 million Obama wants to give the Palestinians will flow to Hamas, even if a Palestinian unity government including Hamas is formed.
But members of the House Foreign Appropriations Middle East Subcommittee, which must approve the aid package, said that mechanisms for determining whether or not the money was reaching Hamas itself were not adequate.
Under the new administration's guidelines for providing US taxpayers' dollars to the PA, President Barack Obama alone is able to determine whether or not the Palestinians have met the conditions for aid.
Given Obama's determination to push forward the Israeli-Palestinian peace process at any cost, few expect him to prevent the flow of aid, even if some money is reaching Hamas.