Palestinian push for statehood jeopardizes US aid
By DONNA CASSATA, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Palestinian Authority and President Mahmoud Abbas have repeatedly been warned: Pursue statehood recognition at the United Nations and risk losing millions of dollars in U.S. aid.
For months, congressional Republicans and Democrats have threatened to cut off some $500 million in economic and security assistance to the Palestinians if they defy the United States and Israel by seeking statehood. The Americans and Israelis prefer negotiations between the sides leading to a two-state solution. Congress' forceful message has been delivered in letters to Abbas, through overwhelming bipartisan votes on resolutions and in fierce rhetoric.
"Current and future aid will be jeopardized if you abandon direct negotiations and continue your efforts," Reps. Kay Granger, R-Texas, chairwoman of the House Appropriations foreign operations subcommittee, and Nita Lowey of New York, the panel's top Democrat, wrote to Abbas this summer, echoing a plea they made to the Palestinian leader in an April letter.
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