By HELENE COOPER
Published: March 22, 2007
WASHINGTON, March 21 The Bush administration will reduce by about 40 percent the aid it is seeking from Congress for the security forces of the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, and set new conditions for monitoring the money because of concerns that some of it could end up with Hamas, the militant Islamist organization, administration officials said Wednesday.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is returning to the Middle East this weekend for another round of shuttle diplomacy, told a House panel on Wednesday that she would soon send Congress a revised package that would try to restrict the use of the money to security forces loyal to Mr. Abbas, whom the United States considers more moderate than Hamas.
Congress has delayed Ms. Rice's original request, and it is unclear if even the reduced amount will get out of the House, where the pro-Israel lobby is particularly strong.
In another sign of a potential thaw in relations between the United States and the Palestinian Authority, major powers issued a statement on Wednesday saying that the new government would not be judged only on its "composition and platform, but also its actions."
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