The U.S. has presented an $830.4-billion emergency spending bill, comprising funding for its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill would also allocate $840 million to the Palestinian Authority and for reconstruction in the Gaza Strip following Israel's three-week offensive there earlier this year.
Because none of the Gaza aid can legally reach Hamas, it will be difficult to ensure its delivery to the coastal territory.
The U.S. has refused to grant aid to Hamas unless the group agrees to recognize Israel, renounce violence and agreeing to follow past accords secured between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
The administration's request for the minor changes to aid measures is unlikely to come into fruition, as no concrete plans are yet underway for a Palestinian unity government. Reconciliation talks between Hamas and Fatah have been ongoing, but have so far yielded no results.
Still, the move has stirred controversy among pro-Israel U.S. officials, according to the L.A. Times.
Republican Representative Mark Steven Kirk told Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a House hearing last week that the proposal was tantamount to supporting a government with "only has a few Nazis in it," the L.A. Times said.
Democratic Representative Adam B. Schiff called the proposal "completely unworkable," even if Hamas were to agree to abide by the U.S.' preconditions, according to the L.A. Times.
"You couldn't have the leadership of a terrorist organization pick the ministers in the government, with the power to appoint and withdraw them, and answering to them," the L.A. Times quoted him as saying.
Clinton has defended the proposal, saying that the U.S. has continued to fund other governments in which designated terror groups are represented, including the Lebanese government which includes officials from the Hezbollah militant organization.
The secretary of state urged the government to work to change the attitudes of Hamas, rather than cutting of all possibility of dealing with them should they join the ruling Palestinian coalition.
"We don't want to . . . bind our hands in the event that such an agreement is reached, and the government that they are part of agrees to our principles," she said