|Obama delivers a big win for Abbas|
US will work with Palestinian unity government -Michael Wilner
The United States will work with a new Palestinian Authority that has unified Hamas and Fatah, the State Department said hours after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas swore in the new government.
"Based on what we know now, we intend to work with this government," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.
Psaki said the Obama administration has no intention of cutting off aid to the Palestinian Authority, which amounts to roughly $500 million a year-- pivotal funding for the cash-strapped organization.
Congress questions aid to new Palestinian unity government
Senior US lawmakers said that they would be reluctant to send aid to the new unity government between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Liberation Organization and the terrorist group Hamas.
The US Congress authorizes $500 million in annual aid Washington sends to the Palestinian Authority.
Palestinian leader Abbas, whose Palestinian Authority is dependent on foreign aid, appeared to be banking on Western acceptance - over Israeli objections - of a 16-member cabinet of what he described as politically unaffiliated technocrats.
Virginia US Representative Eric Cantor said the Obama administration and Congress should suspend aid while they assess the new government.
US ‘disappointed’ by ‘unhelpful’ settlement tenders -Rebecca Stoil
The Housing and Construction Ministry had announced Thursday morning its decision to publish tenders for the 1,500 units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in what Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel called an “appropriate Zionist response to the Palestinian terror government.” Later, an official said Israel would be moving forward with an additional 1,800 homes.
The United States is “deeply disappointed” by Israel’s plan to issue new building tenders in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, a State Department spokeswoman said Thursday, but will not call on Israel to reverse its decision, as the European Union did earlier in the day.
[The Times of Israel]