With bipartisan backing, the Taylor Force act was approved by the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on Thursday. The act, named after an American veteran slain by a Palestinian while visiting Israel in 2016, will cut US funding to the Palestinian Authority if it does not stop paying salaries to terrorists and their families. The bill now moves on to the Senate for approval.
Senator Lindsey Graham, (R-SC), who authored the legislation, told reporters on Thursday that the intent was to stop the Palestinian program which rewarded violence.
“If you’re a young Palestinian, maybe the best thing you can do for your family in terms of income is to become a terrorist,” Graham said. “That’s sick. The longer you’re in jail, the more vicious the crime, the more money you get. That’s inconsistent with peace. It is a sick system – it needs to change.”
The bill requires that the Secretary of State certify that the PA “has terminated payments for acts of terrorism against American and Israeli citizens after being fairly tried and who have been imprisoned for such acts of terrorism, including the family members of the convicted individuals.”
In June, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said during a public hearing in the Senate on the State Department’s budget that PA President Mahmoud Abbas had agreed to stop payments to terrorist families after President Donald Trump made a personal request to the Palestinian leader. Soon after Tillerson’s statement, the PA denied that any such promise had been made.
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