WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Palestinian Authority has refunded $30 million in U.S. aid, meeting Washington's demand to keep it out of the hands of a new government being formed by Hamas, a militant group on the U.S. terrorist list. (I HOPE JIMMY CARTER DOESNT GET TOO UPSET ABOUT THIS) David Welch, assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs, told lawmakers on Thursday the money was returned a day earlier and the Palestinian Authority had promised to give back a further $20 million before Hamas Islamists took over. (EXCELLENT) "There should be by the time this interim caretaker government leaves office, no U.S. taxpayer dollars in their (Hamas') hands," Welch told the U.S. House of Representatives International Relations Committee. (GOOD, PUT SOME IN MY AMERITRADE ACCOUNT INSTEAD) A senior State Department official said the $50 million would probably be "reprogrammed" for humanitarian aid to the Palestinians but Congress would have to agree to that. (OH WELL, IT WAS WORTH A SHOT) Hamas, whose charter calls for Israel's destruction, has masterminded 60 suicide bombings during a Palestinian uprising but has largely abided by a truce declared last year. It is forming a government after winning a January election against the long-dominant Fatah party. Hamas capitalized on the popularity of its charity network as well as its armed wing and also promised to clean up corruption. The Bush administration says U.S. law forbids it from giving assistance to a Hamas-led government because of the group's listing as a terrorist group. HUMANITARIAN AID Since Hamas' victory, Washington has launched a review of aid to the Palestinians and their cash-strapped government. Welch said the United States was looking for ways to continue getting humanitarian funds to the Palestinians. "It serves important U.S. national interests," he said, but added, "We have not, do not and will not provide assistance to Hamas â in government or out of government." In the past decade, the United States has given $1.5 billion in aid to the Palestinians, most via nongovernmental groups.