|Bush signs PATA|
| President Bush signed the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act. |
Passed by the U.S. Congress in its final hours earlier this month, the act bans assistance to the Palestinian Authority as long as the Hamas terrorist group leads it and as long as Hamas does not renounce terrorism or recognize Israel.
Bush signed the act Thursday, a day before it was due to lapse.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee had lobbied strongly for the act; some dovish pro-Israel groups had opposed it as too restrictive.
The act allows an exception for aid to the P.A. president, Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah, who was elected separately.
Bush´s signing of the statement reiterates the traditional presidential prerogative to conduct foreign policy.