|Senator Ben Cardin, Democrat from Maryland, leads a bipartisan coalition of 88 Senators against White House policy on Palestinian unity. The Senate has 100 members.|
Unified Senate sends Obama message on Palestinian unity
The US Senate sent a united message of "grave concern" to US President Barack Obama on Thursday regarding the formation of a reconciliation government between Fatah and Hamas, and what the move might require of Congress in determining future US aid to the Palestinians.
88 senators from across party lines signed the letter sent to the White House, written by Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME), which warns the new PA unity effort might "jeopardize direct negotiations with Israel to achieve a two-state solution."
The State Department considers the current government an interim body, occupied by technocrats unaffiliated with either Palestinian party. Given those circumstances, the Obama administration plans on monitoring the political developments while continuing aid, officials say.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which helped circulate the letter through the halls of the Senate, "commended" the bipartisan group in a statement. They have publicly called for a debate on Capitol Hill on the continuation of aid to the PA.
Full text of letter available HERE