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Thursday, September 29, 2016
Blunt, Senators Introduce Legislation to Cut Off Funding For Palestinian Terror Attacks
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Dan Coats (Ind.) today introduced The Taylor Force Act which would require the Secretary of State to certify the Palestinian Authority has ended its policy of paying monetary rewards to terrorists and their surviving family members.
Blunt, Graham, and Coats, and were joined today at the legislation’s introduction by Stuart and Robbi Force, parents of Taylor Force. Taylor was a former U.S. Army officer who was part of a Vanderbilt University tour group visiting Israel when he was brutally stabbed and killed by a Palestinian terrorist. Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction praised the terrorist as a “heroic martyr” and the Palestinian Authority has yet to condemn the terrorist attack.
“Israel is one of our closest allies and a stalwart of democracy in the Middle East,” said Senator Blunt. “It would be absolutely unconscionable to allow U.S. taxpayer dollars to be used by the Palestinian Authority to reward convicted terrorists for acts of violence against Israel or the United States. I urge all of my colleagues to back this effort to hold the Palestinian Authority accountable.”
“This legislation shines a light on a very real problem,” said Senator Graham. “Why is the Palestinian Authority paying young Palestinians to commit acts of terror against innocent Americans like Taylor Force or Israelis? The Palestinians need to decide – do they condemn these horrible acts or do they reward them? You can’t be a partner in peace when you are paying people to commit terrorist acts. The choice the Palestinians make will determine the type of relationship they have with the United States in the years to come.”
“To provide American taxpayer dollars to the Palestinian Authority so that it can treat terrorists as heroes or glorious martyrs is morally unacceptable,”said Senator Coats.“Our hope is that applying this budgetary pressure will end this immoral program of rewarding and encouraging terrorists.”
· Requires the Secretary of State to certify to Congress the Palestinian Authority is taking credible steps to end acts of violence against United States and Israeli citizens that are perpetrated by individuals under its jurisdictional control, such as the attack on Taylor Force;
· Calls on the Palestinian Authority to publicly condemn such acts of violence and is taking steps to investigate and cooperate in investigations bringing perpetrators to justice; and
· Terminates payments for acts of terrorism against United States and Israeli citizens to any individual who has been imprisoned after being convicted of terrorist acts, to any individual who died committing a terrorist act, or to family members of such individuals.