Top US lawmaker warns Palestinians on UN push

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor
© AFP/Getty Images/File Chip Somodevilla


WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US House of Representatives will cut off aid to the Palestinians if they successfully pursue their drive to get UN membership, Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor warned Monday.

“The House position is we do not support and will not support, in the form of any assistance, an entity that involves Hamas together with the Palestinian Authority, or a move towards seeking a declaration unilaterally of a Palestinian state in the UN,” he told reporters.

US lawmakers “support those in the Middle East who support peace” but oppose a declaration of Palestinian statehood “without any real guarantees of security” for Israel, said Cantor.

Cantor, the number-two House Republican, had been asked about prospects that the House could cut aid to the Palestinians, including security assistance that some experts say helps the Palestinian Authority keep militants in check.

“All of us are concerned about the impact, but I will not support the extension of any taxpayer dollars that help an entity like Hamas, it’s a terrorist organization,” he said.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas is expected to submit a formal request within days for the United Nations to accept Palestine as its 194th member when the General Assembly opens on September 20.

The Palestinian envoy to the world body has said that Monday’s Arab League meeting will decide whether the Palestinians go to the UN Security Council or General Assembly to seek membership.

Washington said it would veto any bid in the Security Council, arguing that a Palestinian state should be created only through negotiations.

If that happens the Palestinians say they will turn to the General Assembly, where they expect to easily win votes to upgrade their representation from current observer status to non-member state.

© AFPPublished at Activist Post with license

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