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Legislation calls for stable Palestinian Authority

JTA

April 24, 2013 | 9:06 am

Secretary of State John Kerry, right, meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Istanbul on April 21. Photo by Evan Vucci/Reuters

Secretary of State John Kerry, right, meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Istanbul on April 21. Photo by Evan Vucci/Reuters

Two U.S. congressmen have introduced legislation calling on the Palestinian Authority to prevent a Hamas takeover of the West Bank.

Reps. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) and Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.) introduced a resolution Tuesday urging the Palestinian Authority to work for political stability and calling on President Mahmoud Abbas to create a presidential succession plan.

The two politicians also spelled out the need for expanded political freedom in the West Bank.

“Israel cannot be expected to negotiate with any government that doesn’t acknowledge its fundamental right to exist as a Jewish, democratic state,” said Roskam, a co-chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus. “Allowing extremists like Hamas to overrun the Palestinian Authority would be a fatal blow to prospects for peace in the region.”

The resolution calls on Abbas to create a succession plan that includes those committed to a peace process with Israel. It also calls upon Abbas to enact reforms that allow a fair election, and ensure freedoms of speech, the press and the right to assemble.

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