Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks about the Taylor Force Act. while flanked by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) during a news conference August 3, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The legislation would stop economic aid to the Palestinian Authority until it halted payments to people who commit terrorist acts or payments to their families. The bill is named for Taylor Force, an American who was killed in Tel Aviv in 2016.Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Navigate to News section

House Foreign Affairs Committee Passes Taylor Force Act

Will halt American aid to the Palestinian Authority until it suspends its pay-for-slay policies

by
Liel Leibovitz
November 15, 2017
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks about the Taylor Force Act. while flanked by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) during a news conference August 3, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The legislation would stop economic aid to the Palestinian Authority until it halted payments to people who commit terrorist acts or payments to their families. The bill is named for Taylor Force, an American who was killed in Tel Aviv in 2016.Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Earlier today, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), passed the Taylor Force Act, which would halt American aid to the Palestinian Authority until the PA stops paying stipends to terrorists and their families. The committee also passed two additional acts targeting Hamas.

Introduced in 2016 by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dan Coats (R-IN), and Roy Blunt (R-MS), the bill was named after West Point graduate Taylor Force, who completed two tours of Afghanistan and Iraq before being murdered by a Palestinian terrorist while on a visit to Tel Aviv. The terrorist was killed shortly thereafter, but his family is entitled to monthly payments from the PA that come out to several times the average Palestinian family’s salary.

“Since 2003,” Royce said in a statement, “it has been Palestinian law to reward Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails with a monthly paycheck. Palestinian leadership also pays the families of Palestinian prisoners and suicide bombers. These policies incentivize terrorism. With this legislation, we are forcing the PA to choose between U.S. assistance and these morally reprehensible policies, and I am pleased to see this measure move forward in both chambers with so much support.”

The other acts just passed are the Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act (H.R. 2712), which imposes sanctions on foreign individuals, groups, and governments that assist Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups, and the Hamas Human Shields Prevention Act (H.R. 3542), which is designed to prosecute members of Hamas who put civilians in harm’s way. Both acts, Royce added, were designed in part to hold Iran responsible for its support of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. “It is precisely Iranian support that has enabled Hamas to maintain power in the Gaza Strip for the past decade,” he said. “Iran is also why Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have thousands of missiles and rockets, and continue digging tunnels of terror under the border with Israel. While we work to address Iran’s support for Hamas, we must also ensure U.S. partners in the region do not host or aid Hamas terrorists. To that end, this bill has already had an effect. When the bill was introduced, Qatar was hosting senior Hamas terrorist Saleh al Arouri after being expelled in 2016 from Turkey. Two weeks after this legislation was introduced, he, along with other Hamas terrorists, was expelled from Qatar.”

Liel Leibovitz is editor at large for Tablet Magazine and a host of its weekly culture podcast Unorthodox and daily Talmud podcast Take One.

Join Us!

All of Tablet’s latest stories—in your inbox, daily. Subscribe to our newsletter.

Please enter a valid email
Check iconSuccess! You have subscribed to the Tablet newsletter.