US House passes bill to slash PA funds over terrorist stipends

The US House of Representatives passed on Tuesday the Taylor Force Act, legislation that would cut US funding to the Palestinian Authority unless it discontinues its practice of paying monthly stipends to the families of terrorists who kill Israelis.

Last month, the measure unanimously advanced out of committee, including three exceptions: allowing for US funding to Palestinian water and childhood vaccination programs, as well as East Jerusalem hospitals.

The bill must now pass the full Senate, which is expected to vote on it this month, when the upper chamber votes on a foreign operations bill it was packaged into last September. It is expected to pass.

US President Donald Trump has not yet indicated whether he would sign the bill into law, though a White House official told The Times of Israel in July that the president supports its principal objective.

Named after Taylor Force, a former US army officer who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian assailant while visiting Tel Aviv in March 2016, the bill garnered bipartisan support through the House.

“We need to be clear about responsibility for this vicious attack,” said Ed Royce, a Republican from California who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “The Palestinian Authority gives salaries to Palestinians who attack innocent people like Taylor. If the attacker dies, their family is compensated.”

“This system is a disgrace,” he went on. “It is also the result of an abiding climate of hatred Palestinians leaders continue to foster toward Jews and Israelis.”

Israel, too, has demanded that the PA stop paying these wages via intermediary organizations.

The Palestine Liberation Organization, for its part, has condemned the US legislation, saying that it is “unacceptable” and would violate Palestinians’ human rights.

Read More in Times of Israel