The international community has established important benchmarks for the Palestinian Authority that we believe the United States should uphold: Any Palestinian government must, in order to continue to warrant the support of the international community, (1) recognize the state of Israel, (2) renounce violence, and (3) agree to abide by prior agreements.
Just as the United States should be very clear in its expectations of the Israeli government, so too it must be very clear in its conditions for ongoing American aid to support the Palestinian Authority. However, should the Palestinian Authority continue to abide by those conditions, American aid should continue as presently structured, including training Palestinian Security forces, paying some Palestinian creditors, and project-based assistance to NGOs working to meet humanitarian needs and promote economic development.
The maintenance of a strong, functioning Palestinian Authority is vital both to American and Israeli interests. This is even more the case following the recent fighting between Israel and Hamas, with the Palestinian Authority tasked under the cease-fire agreement with playing a critical security and reconstruction role in Gaza.
Efforts to de-fund the PA undermine the very moderates with whom we need to work and empower the very extremists we hope to marginalize and defeat. Nothing could be more counter-productive than to punish President Abbas, the PLO and PA for the actions of their own rivals for influence in Palestinian society, Hamas and other militants even more extreme.
The United States should, of course, continue to urge the Palestinian Authority to coordinate closely with Israel on Security issues and to fight against incitement to violence. Reports of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic propaganda in media and in textbooks are deeply disturbing, and we support a long-standing proposal to establish a trilateral commission on incitement, including the US, Israel and the Palestinians, to address and propose corrective action in response to charges of incitement.
 The Palestinian Authority (PA) is the administrative entity created through the Oslo Accords for the Palestinian people to administer civil and security matters in limited geographic areas. Note that the PA is not the official body negotiating for the resolution of the conflict. The official representative of the Palestinian people is the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). Mahmoud Abbas is presently Chairman of the PLO and President of the PA.