December 5, 2017 — New York
AJC praised the U.S. House of Representatives for overwhelmingly passing the Taylor Force Act, legislation that will penalize the Palestinian Authority (PA) for diverting foreign aid to reward Palestinian terrorists.
“U.S aid to the Palestinian Authority is important, but must never be carte blanche,” said AJC CEO David Harris. “The House has taken a crucial step towards ending the PA’s intentional misuse of foreign assistance to financially reward Palestinian terrorists and their families.”
AJC is urging the U.S. Senate to move expeditiously in approving the Taylor Force Act, so the measure can be signed into law by President Trump.
Importantly, the legislation does not call for a total cutoff of U.S. aid to the Palestinians, but would freeze financial assistance provided by the U.S. – aside from aid allotted for security cooperation and some humanitarian relief – until the PA has ended the practice of terror payments and taken “credible steps” to end violence against American and Israeli citizens.
The Taylor Force Act is named after an American graduate student and U.S. Army veteran who was brutally murdered by a Palestinian terrorist in Jaffa, Israel, in May 2016. Although the terrorist was killed by Israeli police, his family has been receiving monthly payments from the PA since the attack.
The measure calls on other all donor countries take similar action against the PA, and requires the U.S. State Department to produce annually a report detailing the PA’s terror payments.
AJC is also calling upon members of the European Parliament to launch a public inquiry into the practice.
According to a recent Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs report, the PA allocated $344,313,451 for payments to Palestinian inmates in Israeli prisons, their families, and to the families of deceased terrorists in 2017. This number is equal to half of the amount of foreign aid directed toward the PA budget ($700 million). Payments are highest for the worst offenders, including those who die in the terrorist acts they commit.
These terror payments, together with chronic incitement, make it difficult for Israelis to believe they have a true partner in negotiations. As an organization committed to the two-state solution, AJC believes that ending the practice of compensating Palestinian terrorists and their families is one critical step toward resolving the conflict.