MidEast

Friend of Slain American Veteran: Taylor Force Act “Will Stop Incentives to Terror”

If the Taylor Force Act is passed it would “stop incentives to terror,” a friend of the army veteran who was killed in Jaffa by a Palestinian terrorist in March of last year was quoted as saying in an op-ed written by Bradley Martin, published Tuesday in The Hill.

If passed, the bill “will stop incentives to terror and give Palestinians a reason to wake up in the morning and live rather than die,” Ronen Gurievsky, described as Force’s best friend, who is a tour guide in Tel Aviv told Martin, “Taylor is the kind of person who would want to give people a reason to live.”

“I am in favor of anything to stop bloodshed,” Stuart Force, Taylor’s father added. “I feel that rewarding people for terrorism is totally out of the realm of decency. Taylor would have been proud of the effort to pass this act and know we were behind it. That is what keeps us going.”

Martin, a Senior Fellow with the Haym Salomon Center, wrote that the stabbing death of Force and wounding of ten others by a knife-wielding Palestinian “spurred the creation of the Taylor Force Act, which would stop American economic aid to the Palestinian Authority until the PA ceases paying stipends to terrorists and their families.” If enacted as law, the Taylor Force Act would penalize the PA for paying stipends to families of murderers “equal to several times the average monthly Palestinian wage.”

Last week, the Senate made the Taylor Force Act part of the foreign appropriations legislation to ensure that it will be voted on before the end of the year.

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.” Abbas, himself, as Martin noted, said, “I don’t intend to cease payment for families of prisoner martyrs; even if it costs me my seat, I will continue to pay them until my last day.”

The PA issued payments to terrorists and their families totaling more than $1 billion over a four year period, according to a study released in May by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. The sum accounts for seven percent of the PA’s budget and is equivalent to 20 percent of the foreign aid the PA receives annually.

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