Friday, February 27, 2009

Clinton urges Hamas to end violence

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said today that talks to reconcile Palestinian factions will only produce results if Hamas agrees to recognize Israel and other international terms.

In an telephone interview with Voice of America radio, she backed the idea of Palestinian unity. Audio of the full interview available here.

"I believe that it's important, if there is some reconciliation and a move toward a unified authority, that it's very clear that Hamas knows the conditions that have been set forth by the quartet, by the Arab summit. They must renounce violence, recognize Israel, and abide by previous commitments. Otherwise, I don't think it will result in the kind of positive step forward either for the Palestinian people or as a vehicle for a reinvigorated effort to obtain peace that leads to a Palestinian state"
A State Department official said Clinton and Foreign Minister Franco Frattini of Italy, which currently holds the presidency of the Group of Eight wealthy nations, backed those conditions during a meeting at the State Department today.

It's been reported that the two had a "mind meld" and agreed on the need to send a united message on Hamas. Frattini let it be known that some unspecified members of the European Union were willing to yield.

The Secretary will be leaving soon for her next trip to Israel. Monday she will be in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to join an international conference aimed at raising money for the Palestinians to rebuild the war-battered territory. It's been said she will be ready to hand over 900 million dollars, but that will depend on how well the Palestinians meet the conditions of the quartet.

"I will be announcing a commitment to a significant aid package, but it will only be spent if we determine that our goals can be furthered rather than undermined or subverted."


Mahlers5th said...

I wish someone would clarify the following:

“Presidential Determination No. 2009-15 of January 27, 2009

Unexpected Urgent Refugee and Migration Needs Related To Gaza
Memorandum for the Secretary of State

By the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, including section 2(c)(1) of the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1962 (the “Act”), as amended (22 U.S.C. 2601), I hereby determine, pursuant to section 2(c)(1) of the Act, that it is important to the national interest to furnish assistance under the Act in an amount not to exceed $20.3 million from the United States Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund for the purpose of meeting unexpected and urgent refugee and migration needs, including by contributions to international, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations and payment of administrative expenses of Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the Department of State, related to humanitarian needs of Palestinian refugees and conflict victims in Gaza.”

I don’t object to helping to alleviate conditions in Gaza — though these dollars are badly needed at home — but the purpose of the U.S. Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund is “to provide U.S. resettlement opportunities to refugees” so that “U.S. admissions programs may become more responsive to critical refugee rescue needs.”

Does this mean the funds are earmarked for the resettlement of thousands of Palestinians in the United States?

Sarah said...

That is a good question, Mahlers5th. where exactly is that quote pulled from?

From that quote it sounds to me like the fund is set up in case of an Emergency situation and we need to take refugees.

From what snippets I've heard from SOS Clinton, she is using this relief money as a way to broker a peace agreement, if all are willing to cooperate. Has she mentioned anything about taking any refugees???

Mahlers5th said...

Obama signed this executive order on January 27th and it appeared in the Federal Register on February 4th. However, according to, what I initially thought was wrong. According to Dept of State clarification, of the $20.3 million, $13.5 million will go to the UN Relief and Works Agency for palestinian refugees in the Middle East, $6 million to the International Red Cross, and $800,000 to the UN Office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs, and will go to emergency food and medical assistance, temporary shelter, restoring electricity and potable water to the people of Gaza. That makes more sense.

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