U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) is back in the United States, after a 72-hour visit to Israel during which he met with both the prime minister of Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
In addition to meeting with Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, he sat down with Salam Fayyad, the head of the Palestinian Authority.
Toomey says he delivered a tough message.
"One of the things that I wanted to stress was that if, after this fall 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 US Congress would continue to support financial aid to the Palestinian Authority."
Toomey opposes President Obama’s call for peace talks based on a return to Israel’s 1967 borders, but concedes the country would need to turn over land, as part of any settlement.
"The Palestinians have to commit to a peace agreement to recognizing the right of Israel to exist. To exist freely and securely. I think a Palestinian state would have to be largely a demilitarized state. And Israel would have to have a security presence beyond whatever borders are negotiated."
Toomey visited the Middle East with Idaho Republican Jim Risch.