Toomey returns from Mideast trip

    Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey has returned after a 72-hour visit to Israel. The freshman lawmaker from Pennsylvania met with both the prime minister of Israel and the head of the Palestinian Authority.

    Toomey visited the Middle East with Idaho Republican Jim Risch.

    In addition to meeting with Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, he sat down with Salam Fayyad, the head of the Palestinian Authority.

    The Republican says he delivered a tough message.

    “One of the things that I wanted to stress was that if, after this fall’s elections and further negotiations, if Hamas continues to have – and has, really, any kind of meaningful role in the government, I don’t see how the U.S. Congress would continue to support financial aid to the Palestinian Authority,” Toomey said.

    Toomey opposes President Barack Obama’s call for peace talks based on a return to Israel’s 1967 borders with land swaps, but concedes the country would need to turn over land, as part of any settlement.

    Toomey says a Palestinian state would need to be demilitarized, and include an Israeli security presence.

     

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