Congressmen are standing with Israel, working to ensure that US aid to the Palestinian Authority is not used to reward terrorists.
The No Bonuses for Terrorist Act of 2017, introduced by Congressmen Ted Budd (R-NC) and Mark Sanford (R-SC), acknowledges and stops the practice of US foreign aid given to the Palestinian Authority from being used to fund acts of terrorism perpetrated against Israeli civilians.
“The news of President Obama’s last-minute transfer of $221 million to the Palestinian Authority (PA) is a clear reminder that we need to take every measure possible to ensure taxpayer dollars aren’t being used to reward acts of terror,” stated Budd.
The transfer was subsequently frozen by President Donald Trump’s State Department.
The existing US law allows for the reduction of US aid to the PA based on the amount of payments it makes to terrorists and their families, but the PA circumvents the law by giving the terrorism incentives through third-party organizations, such as the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).
“This bill is simple. It would direct the Secretary of State to certify to Congress that the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian Liberation Organization have ceased all financial rewards to terrorists or their families. If the Secretary of State cannot certify this, our bill would redirect that money to Israel’s Iron Dome system,” Budd explained.
“To me, this is unacceptable. When the American people support other nations, our generosity shouldn’t be used to support terrorism in any way. And pausing these funds until we’re certain they aren’t being used as such seems like an obvious response to the problem,” said Sanford.
This bill would be the strongest legislation yet to block any and all US payment that would benefit terrorists or their families.
Millions to Terrorism
According to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), the PA devotes NIS 486 million ($127 million) of its annual budget to paying salaries to terrorists. An additional NIS 660 million ($174 million) of the budget is earmarked for paying allowances to the families of those killed or wounded in the act of “resisting” Israel.
PMW reported last month that the family of the terrorist who murdered four IDF soldiers in a truck-ramming attack in Jerusalem will receive a NIS 6,000 ($575) grant, as well as a monthly allowance of NIS 2,900 shekels ($760).
This is far from a singular occurrence, PMW pointed out. More than 30,000 families of Palestinian terrorists receive these benefits.
Issa Karake, director of the Prisoners’ Affairs Authority of the Palestinian Authority, has strongly denied that these payments are meant as welfare support for the families, stressing that they are meant as a reward “out of esteem for their sacrifice and struggle.”