CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that Congress will not approve the $900 million in aid pledged to a Palestinian Authority (PA) unity government unless it agrees to recognize Israel's right to exist, renounce terrorism and accept previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements.
The three benchmarks proposed by the Quartet (United States, United Kingdom, United Nations and Russia) must be in place before substantive negotiations on the establishment of a Palestinian state can move forward.
Clinton reportedly clarified the U.S. position with PA President Mahmoud Abbas and other senior government officials.
The secretary of state's comments came days before a decision by the British parliament to open diplomatic talks with the Lebanese-based Hezbollah terror organization, which joined the Lebanese government in June 2008.
Both Hezbollah and Hamas are supported, funded and armed by Iran and Syria.
Earlier this week, British MP (minister of parliament) George Galloway led a delegation to the Gaza Strip to meet with Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh.
The British delegation donated 100 vehicles and thousands of dollars in aid to Hamas, whom Galloway called "the elected government of Palestine."
Meanwhile, delegations from Hamas and Fatah are conducting 10 days of meetings with Egyptian mediators to resolve their longstanding rivalries and form a unity coalition that would govern until elections in January 2010.
On Sunday, acting PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, whom Hamas considers a quasi puppet of the U.S. and Israel, announced his resignation to pave the way for the formation of a unity government.
Sources: Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post