Top Senate Democrats say they are closer to signing on to a Republican-backed bill that would slash aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) if it did not stop subsidizing jailed terrorists, JTA reported Friday.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), the minority leader in the Senate, told attendants at the Orthodox Union’s annual Washington action day on Thursday that he would support the Taylor Force Act or legislation similar to it if the Trump administration is unable to get the PA to stop the payments.
“[PA chairman Mahmoud] Abbas has to stop making payments to terrorists and their families, and all elected officials should call them out,” Schumer said, according to JTA.
Also edging closer to endorsing the legislation was Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), the top Democrat on the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee.
“We’re going to find a way to pass the Taylor Force Act,” Cardin said, suggesting that he wanted changes to the bill before he could fully endorse it. The measure was named for an American who was murdered in a 2016 stabbing attack in Tel Aviv.
Since the mid-1990s, the United States has contributed more than $5 billion in security assistance to the PA. However, a portion of these tax dollars are earmarked for stipends to terrorists and their families in perpetuity.
According to a 2014 study by the Israeli government, based on internal PA documents, these prisoners and their families received more than $75 million in "reward" money in a single year. READ MORE