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PLO member: Congress members who called to stop aid following unity government between Fatah and Hamas “are more ‎extreme than the Israeli right”

     “Eighty-eight US Parliament (i.e., Congress) members from the Republican and Democratic parties have demanded that US President Barack Obama halt the transfer of US aid money to the PA in response to the formation of the [Fatah-Hamas] national unity government. An open letter to Obama from the Congress members said that ‘the establishment of the unity government has damaged Congressional support for the transfer of financial aid to the PA, and necessitates the exertion of pressure on Mahmoud Abbas to end his alliance with Hamas and return to the negotiating table.’ [translation of Arabic paraphrase; for original English, see here]
In response to the Congress members’ letter, PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi said that ‘these are means of [exerting] pressure that constitute the power supporting Zionism and Israel, as they are even more extremist than the Israeli right and Benjamin Netanyahu.’ In a statement, Ashrawi mused: ‘If the Israeli government transferred the tax money despite its attempt to boycott the Palestinian consensus government (In accordance with the Oslo Accords, Israel collects taxes on behalf of the Palestinian Authority and transfers the money to the PA), and [if it] understood that damaging the PA and the government would have dangerous consequences, how can these [people] demand the cessation of aid to the Palestinian government?’ Ashrawi emphasized that the letter’s signatories are trying to tell Israel that they are more Zionist than the Israelis themselves – even though the US administration understands that the Palestinian government is a government of independent [professionals], with no members from Hamas or any other faction – which is why it [the US] took no steps to punish it.”