The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted Thursday (16-5) to proceed with the Taylor Force Act, which will defund the Palestinian Authority (PA) until it ceases and denounces its "Pay to Slay" policy, which rewards terrorists and their families for acts against Israel and the United States. The Taylor Force Act will now advance to a floor-wide vote.
Liberty Counsel and Christians in Defense of Israel have been instrumental in encouraging legislators to pass this bill. This legislation is named in memory of U.S. Army veteran and Vanderbilt student, Taylor Force, who served in combat deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, only to be senselessly killed as a civilian by a Palestinian terrorist in Israel.
The Taylor Force Act will force the PA to face the consequences of its violence or end this abhorrent practice immediately. The PA currently gives over $300 million annually to terrorists and their families. However, since the U.S. provides over $700 million of direct and indirect aid to the Palestinians, American taxpayer dollars are providing the funds to reward terrorists who kill American and Israeli citizens. As soon as attackers are arrested, the PA provides canteen expenses, salary and health benefits. A government job upon release is guaranteed for those sentenced to five or more years. The families of "martyrs" also receive large payments for the loss of their family member.
In order to receive U.S. funds, 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 commend the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for passing 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 cannot reward acts of terrorism like the one that tragically took the life of Taylor Force. 'Pay to Slay' must end. This legislation will now force the Palestinian Authority to face the consequences of its horrendous violence or end this abhorrent practice immediately. It's unconscionable that even one American taxpayer dollar has been used to brainwash young Palestinians to hate the Jewish people and to pay terrorists to ruthlessly murder Israelis and Americans," Staver said.
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