Press Release
Contact Information: Hussein Ibish
May 22, 2006 - 12:00am

Washington, D.C., May 23 -- The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) today deplored the passage of H.R. 4681, the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006, in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill was passed by a vote of 361 to 37, with 9 representatives answering "present." Opposition to the bill with its existing provisions included Arab, Palestinian, Jewish and Christian American groups, and the Bush administration.

H.R. 4681 imposes sweeping sanctions on the Palestinian people as a whole, making little distinction between them and their Hamas-led governing authority. The victory of Hamas in the January 2006 Palestinian legislative elections is what prompted the formulation of the bill.

Commenting on the passage of H.R. 4681, ATFP president Dr. Ziad Asali said, "This bill is extremely damaging on three levels. First, it makes no distinction between Hamas and the Palestinian people by punishing all Palestinians for the Hamas electoral victory, or between the P.A. president, who is the democratically elected leader of Palestine, and the P.A. cabinet. This will only serve to undermine the majority moderate Palestinians, over three quarters of which continue to support a negotiated two-state solution. Second, the undermining of Palestinian moderate leaders and the bill provisions restricting and preventing U.S. officials from talking to them, is contrary to U.S. strategic interests concerning engaging with these leaders as part of the goal of a negotiated two-state solution. Finally, this bill undercuts the Quartet's efforts to find a mechanism to provide critically needed aid to the Palestinian people, who are facing a worsening humanitarian crisis."


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017