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Hamas Criticizes US Offer of Security Aid to Palestinians


The Islamic militant group, Hamas, has criticized a U.S. pledge of about $60 million to strengthen Palestinian security measures.

A Hamas spokesman objected Wednesday to the U.S. bypassing government channels. He accused the U.S. of attempting to divide Palestinians.

Hamas and the rival Fatah faction are the main members of the Palestinian unity government.

U.S. officials say the bulk of the funds ($43 million) will be used to support the security forces of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah. Much of the remainder will be spent on security at the main commercial gateway, Karney Crossing, between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

Some U.S. lawmakers initially opposed the funding because of fears it could reach Hamas, which the United States considers a terrorist group.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.