- The Washington Times - Monday, April 28, 2014

Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, is introducing a measure this week that would cut off all future U.S. aid to Palestine if the country does not recognize Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign nation.

The rival Palestinian entities Hamas and Fatah recently announced a unity agreement, causing Israel to pull out of peace talks with the country — a development that signifies “both danger and opportunity to the peace process,” Mr. Paul said.

“Israel cannot be expected to negotiate with an entity that does not believe it should exist and that has used terrorist tactics to seek its end,” Mr. Paul said. “That being said, the new unity government has a chance to put itself on the record as clearly believing in the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state, as Israel recognizes the right of a Palestinian state to exist. It should also declare an immediate and lasting ceasefire to enable negotiations.”

If that is accomplished, he continued, the peace process can move forward.

“In the absence of such a clear, unambiguous statement on the part of the newly unified Palestinian government, the United States should act to enforce the law and cut off aid to the Palestinian government until they recognize Israel’s right to exist,” Mr. Paul said.

“I will introduce a measure when Congress returns this week to make all future aid to the Palestinian government conditional upon this statement, with a cutoff date of five weeks from now if, upon its formation, the new government does not take this vital step toward peace,” he said.

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