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SCOTT JAGOW: A year ago, the Middle East Quartet cut off all financial aid to the Palestinian Authority. The quartet is the U.S., the U.N., the E.U. and Russia. They wanted to send a message to Hamas after it took power. Well last night Hamas and its rival, Fatah, signed an agreement to share control of the Palestinian government. So, the question this morning is, will the Quartet let the money start flowing again. Orly Halpern sent us this report from Jerusalem.
ORLY HALPERN: For money to flow back into Palestinian coffers, the Quartet has to determine if the new government fulfills the three conditions set a year ago: recognition of Israel, renouncement of terror and acceptance of the previous signed peace agreements.
Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, an independent Palestinian MP, says the declaration to respect past agreements fulfills the requirements because it implicitly means accepting an Israeli state next to a Palestinian one.
DR. MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI: So it is time to lift the siege, it is time to allow the Palestinians to have free trade, it is time to lift the embargo imposed on us that transferred every community and every district into a real prison.
Palestinians have been pressured to reach an agreement because their economy has been mired in recession. Over half of the workforce is unemployed and more than 70 percent live under the poverty line of $2 per day.
In Jerusalem, I’m Orly Halpern for Marketplace.
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