A bill introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), intended to restrict funding to the Palestinian Authority, is now headed to the Senate floor for a full vote, after being approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in a 16-5 vote.
The “Taylor Force Act” is named after Taylor Force, a 28-year-old American who was stabbed to death last year by a Palestinian who launched a brutal attack in Tel Aviv that also injured 12 other people, The Hill reported. Force was in Israel with a Vanderbilt University study group at the time he was killed, and had served tours of duty in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
The bill will cut off funding to the Palestinian Authority until it proves it has taken “credible steps to end acts of violence against the United States and Israeli citizens,” and has “terminated payments for acts of [terrorism] against U.S. and Israeli citizens.”
Currently, in a “pay-to-slay” program, financial compensation is awarded to families of terrorists, where the Palestinian Authority shells out a whopping $300 million annually from the “Martyr’s Fund.”
The terrorist who killed Taylor Force in the Tel Aviv attack last year was shot and killed by authorities, and his family received financial compensation in return.
Representative Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) said, “‘Pay-to-slay’ must end and U.S. tax dollars certainly should stop being used on behalf of the PA as long as ‘pay to slay’ continues.”
Graham said at a press conference after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote Thursday, “This is a big day for me, a big day for the Taylor Force family, and a step forward to rationality in the Middle East. Our goal is to change a practice that corrupts the Palestinian youth inconsistent with peace.”
Recently, a Palestinian man burst into a Jewish home in Israel and brutally slaughtered three members of the family with a knife while they were in the middle of a family dinner. A fourth member of the family was wounded. The man had posted a message on Facebook prior to the attack, announcing he was about to go to heaven.
Unfortunately for him, a neighbor heard screams for help and shot the attacker, wounding him. Instead of “going to heaven,” he was taken to the hospital. His mother posted a video praising her son for slaughtering the Jewish family, but it is doubtful she collected anything from the Martyr’s Fund since her son was not killed.
#TaylorForceAct will force the Palestinian Authority to make a choice: face the consequences or end this detestable practice immediately.
— Senator Bob Corker (@SenBobCorker) August 3, 2017
— Ali Dukakis (@ajdukakis) August 3, 2017
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee released a statement Thursday voicing its full support and urged “the full Senate to adopt this important legislation.”
“For many years, AIPAC has pressed to end this PA practice that incentivizes terrorism and sets back the pursuit of peace. Current law requires a reduction of U.S. assistance by an amount equivalent to that paid by the PA, the Palestine Liberation Organization, or any affiliated organization to individuals that committed acts of terrorism or their families. However, this important step has not yet put an end to Palestinian incitement, necessitating the increased pressure provided by the Taylor Force Act.”
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