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Friday, May 5, 2017

Congress rejects paying salaries to terrorists

The Senate on Thursday passed a $1.1 trillion funding bill which includes a number of provisions to help Israel address security-related challenges.
 
Senators voted 79-18 in favor of the bill, which will passed the House on Wednesday.
The Omnibus Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2017 provides $3.1 billion plus an additional $75 million in overall security assistance to Israel.
 
The bill also contains $600.7 million for vital joint U.S.-Israel missile defense programs, representing a $113 million increase over FY 2016.
 
In addition, Congress included $42.5 million for continued U.S.-Israel joint development of technologies to address the complex challenge of locating, mapping and destroying terrorist tunnel networks.
 
The bill also includes a provision that reduces aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) on a dollar-for-dollar basis for any support the PA, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and any affiliated organization provides to terrorists or their families.
 
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) welcomed the passage of the bill, saying in a statement it “applauds Congress for including key provisions to help Israel address critical security challenges in the Omnibus Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2017.”
 
The passing of the bill comes a day after the meeting between President Donald Trump and PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas. White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters after the meeting that the president had brought up the issue of the PA’s paying salaries to terrorists and their families.
 
On Tuesday, leading Republican senators wrote a letter to Trump, urging him to demand that Abbas end his practice of paying terrorists and their families for attacks committed against Israel.
 
In addition, the lawmakers asked Trump to publicly express support for the Taylor Force Act, a new legislation that would cut U.S. funding to the PA until payments to terrorists cease.