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US could reassess aid to Palestinians

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration says it will reassess aid to Palestinians if the militant group Hamas joins the U.S.-backed Palestinian government.

A State Department spokeswoman says the U.S. is continuing its Palestinian assistance programs for now.

But the U.S. is seeking more information on the emerging alliance between President Mahmoud Abbas' pro-Western Fatah party, which governs in the West Bank, and its rival faction, Hamas.

The State Department says if a new government is formed, the U.S. will assess the implications for U.S. aid. The U.S. considers Hamas a terrorist group, making it ineligible for direct U.S. aid.

The two Palestinian groups said this week they have reached an outline deal to end a four-year rift.

Several members of Congress have threatened to cut off funding to protest the reconciliation.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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