Israeli online daily Haaretz reported on Friday that United States
Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, stated that she intends to ask
the Congress for dozens of millions of dollars to boost the Palestinian
security forces.

“We will request financial support to boost the security reform of the forces”, Rice told Reuters in an interview, “the aid would be in range of dozens of millions of dollars”.

According to Haaretz, the United States wants to make sure that the Fateh party, headed by Abbas, “would emerge victorious in any power struggle with the Hamas movement”.

Rice added that such reforms need time to be conducted especially since these forces “need to deal with the lawlessness in Gaza”.

She also said that Hamas is unable to govern because “it is unwilling to meet the international standards, eported.

Haaretz also said that US State Department officials have been discussing the request in recent weeks with key staff on Capitol Hill, trying to convince them the money will not reach Hamas.

International aid money to the Palestinian Authority had been cut off since Hamas achieved an overwhelming victory in the legislative elections in January 2006.