MidEast

Senate Bill Penalizing PA for Terror Support Attached to Foreign Operations Legislation

The United States Senate has attached a bill that would cut some aid to the Palestinian Authority because of its payments to families of terrorists to its foreign operations bill on Thursday, assuring the measure will be voted on before the end of the year.

The Taylor Force Act, named after a former U.S. Army officer who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian assailant in Israel in March 2016, and which has substantial bipartisan support, requires the State Department to cut funds to the PA until it stops paying salaries to Palestinian terrorists and their families. The Senate included it in the foreign operations bill will be voted on by the full Senate in December, The Times of Israel reported.

Although the Taylor Force Act still exists as standalone legislation, however by including in the larger bill, the Senate gives it a second route to enactment.

An insider who has been pushing for passage of the bill, told The Times of Israel that this legislative maneuver was always considered an option to get the bill passed, though having a vote on the standalone version would be preferable because that would force individual senators to say specifically whether or not they supported the bill.

The Taylor Force Act, if it passes Congress and is signed into law, would require the State Department to stop giving aid to the PA, if the PA continues paying stipends to terrorists. The law, however, would not affect State Department funding civilian institutions such as hospitals, or for security cooperation with Israel.

A study published in July showed that PA payments to families of those jailed by Israel, including many terrorists, equals half of what the PA receives in budgetary aid from foreign donors.

Although President Donald Trump told PA President Mahmoud Abbas in May that “peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded and even rewarded,” the PA has insisted that it will not stop the payments to families of terrorists and has criticized the legislation. Last month, after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the legislation by a vote of 17-4, a branch of Fatah, the party led by Abbas, called the legislation an “unacceptable act” that will “negatively affect everything that is connected to the Palestinians’ rights.”

[Photo: soccerdhg ]