Charisma Caucus

Funding Terrorism: It's Up to the Senate

The ball is in the U.S. Senate's court now about stopping funding to the Palestinian Authority. (Getty Images )

The Taylor Force Act, which will defund the Palestinian Authority (PA) until they cease and denounce funding and support for terrorists and their families for acts against Israel and the United States, now awaits the full vote of the Senate. The Taylor Force Act already passed the House and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2017.

Although the Senate is considering adding it to the fiscal 2018 spending deal, passing this legislation as a stand-alone bill is critical for a long-term resolution.

The PA spent 7 percent, or $358 million, of its total 2017 budget on payments to terrorists and their families. In 2016, it spent $322 million on terrorists' stipends. Much of that aid comes from the United States—an average of $335 million annually over the last five years.

Each terrorist serving a three- to five-year sentence in an Israeli prison receives a monthly stipend equivalent to $580, the same as the average monthly salaries of Palestinians in the West Bank. Terrorists serving a life sentence receive a monthly stipend amounting to $2,900. Married terrorists receive an additional $87 a month, and those who are married with children receive an additional $14 per child a month. Terrorists who have Israeli citizenship receive an additional $144 a month.

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If the Taylor Force Act is enacted, the PA would have to revoke any law, decree or document authorizing a compensation scheme for prisoners "that uses the sentence or period of incarceration to determine the level of compensation paid." The secretary of state would also have to certify that the PA "has terminated payments for acts of terrorism against American and Israeli citizens after the attackers being fairly tried and who have been imprisoned for such acts of terrorism, including the family members of the convicted individuals." The PA would also have to take "credible steps" against incitement to violence against Israelis and Americans.

"We encourage the Senate to immediately pass the Taylor Force Act that will cut the supply of blood money to the Palestinian Authority to murder innocent Israelis and Americans," said Mat Staver, Chairman of Liberty Counsel, president of Christians in Defense of Israel, and founder and president of Covenant Journey. "We can no longer continue to reward acts of terrorism, and this legislation will make a positive step toward ending the war on terror. We must force the Palestinian Authority to face the consequences of its horrendous violence or end this abhorrent practice immediately," said Staver.

For the original article, lc.org.

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