In a move against Palestinian unilateralism, the United States Senate passed a resolution yesterday that threatens to withdraw aid from the Palestinian Authority if they continue with their commitment to go to the UN and request statehood in September. The resolution also rejected any Palestinian government that would include Hamas, until the group, which is a designated terrorist organisation in the US, renounces violence and recognises Israel. JTA reports:
Led by Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), the resolution had 88 co-sponsors.
“The Senate has delivered a clear message to the international community that United Nations recognition of a Palestinian state at this time does not further the peace process,” Cardin said in a statement. “A permanent and peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be achieved through direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.”
Meanwhile, it seems that Fatah and Hamas are having trouble maintaining the unity agreement that they came to just a few short weeks ago. Ynet has reported that both parties have abandoned their commitments to form a government by consensus led by non-partisan “technocrats”. Instead, the Palestinians will continue to be ruled by two separate factional governments – Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank.
On the backdrop of difficulties in appointing a prime minister for the Palestinian unity government, the Fatah and Hamas governments have reached an “acquiescence” to have their governments in Gaza and Ramallah continue functioning as usual until they turn to the UN General Assembly in September, a Palestinian source told the Ma’an news agency.