World Jewish News
US Senate committee to vote on bill to cut foreign aid to Palestinian Authority if it continues to reward terrorists
03.08.2017, Israel and the World
The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to vote the Taylor Force Act, a bill which threatens to cut financial aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) should it continue to pay terrorists and their families.
Currently, the PA provides lavish stipends to terrorists incarcerated in Israeli jails, with the amount they receive correlated to the sentence and severity of the crime.
It would also remove the waiver granted to US President to permit such funds from going through, and would obligate the State Department to issue yearly reports summarizing the PA's budget policy in regards to compensating terrorists.
The PA receives an annual $300 million from the US.
The bill is named after Taylor Force, a former United States Army officer who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian in 2016, while walking along the Jaffe boardwalk.
The bill was originally drafted exclusively by Republican lawmakers. But its language has been amended in an effort to broaden bipartisan support and provide the executive branch with flexibility in punishing the PA.
A recent report shows that more then half of the PA's yearly budget goes to terrorists, and Brig.Gen. (Res) Yossi Kuperwasser told the Knesset that the PA has dedicated more then $1 billion on such purposes in the last four years alone.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) endorsed the bipartisan compromise bill, encouraging Senate Committee members on Twitter to vote “yes.” Once it passes committee, the legislation will be considered by the full Senate.
“The Taylor Force Act does not affect US funding for security cooperation, nor does it cut humanitarian programs if the US government can certify that the PA is taking credible steps to end violence against Israelis and Americans,” the group added.
“We are hopeful that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee markup will produce a strong, bipartisan bill that will send a very clear message to the Palestinian Authority: Stop these payments to terrorists and their families or your assistance will be cut.”
Stephen M. Greenberg, Chairman and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO said that ‘’this is yet another sign of the bipartisan commitment in Congress to the security of Israel and to ending the Palestinian Authority’s outrageous incitement to violence against Israelis, and the financial inducements provided to carry out acts of terrorism."
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) said it ‘’reluctantly’’ supports the bill as a ‘’first step’’, ‘’a proposed law which conditions only a portion of U.S. aid to the extremist, anti-Semitic, anti-US Palestinian Authority (PA) on the ending of the PA’s regular practice of spending $355 million a year on salaries and pensions to Arab terrorists and families of Arab terrorists who murder Jews or Americans in Israel – and giving top government jobs to surviving Arab terrorists after they leave Israeli prison.’’
The Palestinian Authority is to pay approximately $3,000 monthly to Omar al-Abed, the terrorist who murdered three members of the Salomon family in the West Bank community of Halamish in a knife attack last month, before being shot and wounded in the midst of his stabbing frenzy by an off-duty IDF soldier.