U.S. President Barack Obama will not cut the billions of dollars in military aid promised to Israel, a senior U.S. administration official said Wednesday.
The $30 billion in aid promised to Israel over the next decade will not be harmed by the world financial crisis, the official told Israel Radio. He spoke on condition of anonymity.
The Obama Administration however expects the next government of Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu to continue peace negotiations with the Palestinians, he said.
The increased military aid was promised to outgoing prime minister Ehud Olmert by then-under secretary of state for political affairs Nicholas Burns in August 2007.
Israel Radio also quoted the official as saying that if Hamas joins a Palestinian unity cabinet but does not accept the conditions of the Quartet of Middle East peace sponsors – the U.S., European Union, United Nations and Russia – the Obama Administration would have no dealings with that government.
The radical Islamist movement ruling Gaza is holding talks in Cairo with the secular Fatah party of moderate President Mahmoud Abbas and other factions on forming a unity government.
The talks in Cairo are a bid to reconcile between the rivaling factions, which have been locked in a bitter power struggle since Hamas beat Fatah in January 2006 elections and culminated in the Islamist group violently seizing sole control of Gaza in June 2007.
After the Hamas elections victory, the Quartet said it would boycott Hamas, unless it recognized Israel’s right to exist, endorsed past interim peace deals calling for a two-state solution to the conflict, and renounced violence.