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Washington - House Approves Legislation To Suspend US Aid To Palestinians

Published on: December 5, 2017 05:32 PM
By: AP
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Palestinian flags fly at the office of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Washington, DC, USA, 24 November 2017. EPAPalestinian flags fly at the office of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Washington, DC, USA, 24 November 2017. EPA

Washington - The Republican-led House easily approved legislation Tuesday that would restrict financial aid that directly benefits the Palestinian Authority until it takes credible steps to end what lawmakers say is a practice of rewarding Palestinians who kill Americans and Israelis.

The legislation, which passed by voice vote, reflects bipartisan outrage over what members of Congress have called a “pay to slay” program endorsed by the Palestinian Authority.

Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., the House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, said the program “incentivizes terrorism.”

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“This perverse pay-to-slay system uses a sliding scale: the longer the jail sentence, the greater the reward,” Royce said. “The highest payments go to those serving life sentences - to those who prove most brutal.”

The committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, said the so-called martyr payments are “downright disgusting” and undermine the potential for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Palestinian officials have said U.S. lawmakers are misinformed about a program that supports families who lose their breadwinners during Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. Palestinians have argued that ending Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem — lands Palestinians seek for their state — is key to defeating terrorism.

The bill is named for Taylor Force, an MBA student at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee and a West Point graduate who was visiting Israel in March 2016 when he was stabbed to death by a Palestinian. Force was from Lubbock, Texas, and served in Iraq and Afghanistan. His parents, who were in Washington on Tuesday, live in South Carolina.

“He was a young man with big dreams and loads of potential,” Royce said.

The U.S. government financially supports the Palestinians in a variety of ways, including paying certain debts held by the Palestinian Authority and underwriting programs for which the Palestinian Authority would otherwise be responsible, according to the House legislation.

The bill states U.S. money may only be made available if the State Department certifies the Palestinians are serious about ending “acts of violence against Israeli citizens and United States citizens that are perpetrated or materially assisted by individuals under their jurisdictional control.”

The Palestinian Authority is also required to revoke any laws or regulations authorizing the payments to terrorists or their families and must publicly condemn the acts of violence, according to the bill.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a separate version of the Taylor Force bill in early August.



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Read Comments (2)  —  Post Yours »

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 Dec 05, 2017 at 05:40 PM triumphinwhitehouse Says:

the house is republican and real American dominated with normal American names, its the Senate with the likes of liberal Jews (Schumer, Sanders, Schultz) etc and liberal non-Jews like Warren and Durbin who are the problem, the former will sell out Israel like they did with the Iran deal.

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 Dec 05, 2017 at 07:16 PM grandbear Says:

If this depends on the state dept's OK, THEN FUGGEDABOUTIT Our state dept. has been an anti semitic, anti jewish part of the national govt. that works to undermine all things that could be of help to jews and israel. . I don't understand how this dept. is allowed to supercede policies that the white house wishes to be put into action ,and never never stopped.

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