Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, March 1, 2006

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U.S. Policy Toward Palestinians
Hyde Schedules Thursday Full Committee Hearing

BACKGROUND - On January 25, Palestinians participated in legislative elections for the first time in ten years. The Change and Reform bloc, Hamas’ political wing, unseated the long-standing rule of the Fatah party by winning a majority of the 132 seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council. Included on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations, Hamas and its leaders have openly called for the destruction of the State of Israel. Since the signing of the Oslo Peace Accord in 1993, more than $1.8 billion in U.S. assistance has flowed to the Palestinian people, but continued assistance to a Hamas-led Palestinian government is now in doubt. Following January’s election, members of the so-called Quartet ( U.S., Russia, EU and UN) jointly released a statement saying that, “…it was inevitable that future assistance to any (Palestinian) government would be reviewed by donors against that government’s commitment to the principles of nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, including the Roadmap.” There are increasing calls by U.S. policymakers, including many in Congress, to reduce or halt U.S. assistance altogether absent a change in Palestinian policy towards Israel. Meanwhile, Iran has announced that it is prepared to  step in and provide assistance to the Hamas-led government. 

WHAT:                             Full Committee Hearing:
                                          United States Policy Toward the Palestinians in the Aftermath of Parliamentary Elections

U.S. Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-IL), Chairman

WHEN:                             10:30 a.m., Thursday, March 2, 2006

WHERE:                           Room 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

WITNESSES:                    Honorable C. David Welch,
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs,
                                           U.S. Department of State;

                                           Honorable James R. Kunder,
                                           Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Asia and the Near East, U.S.
                                           Agency for International Development; and

                                           Lt. General Keith W. Dayton,
                                           United States Security Coordinator,
                                           U.S. Department of State.

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