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US Government Support of Terrorism

The Taylor Force Act, named after an American killed in 2016 by a Palestinian terrorist, is an act of the US Congress passed in 2018. The Act prohibits US aid to the Palestinian Authority until the PA stops payments to terrorists and their families through the so-called “Martyr’s Fund.”  Newsweek noted that “In 2017, this so-called ‘pay for slay’ provision of Palestinian law added up to a whopping $344 million.”(1)

 

A non-public US State Department report acknowledged that “Palestinians spent at least $151 million in 2019 on its ‘pay-to-slay’ program, in which international aid dollars are spent to support imprisoned terrorists and their families;” over $191 million was spent on "deceased Palestinians referred to as 'martyrs.'"(2) 2020 payments to terrorists and their families are estimated at more than $155 million. These are vast sums for a territory that has relied heavily on foreign aid for basic services, and where per-capita income in 2019 was reported at just $3,500.

 

The Biden-Harris administration expressed to restart funding regardless, presumably in violation of the Taylor Force Act.  A.J. Caschetta wrote in Newsweek:

 

“Alas, as president, Joe Biden has shown that his words as vice president condemning Palestinian terrorism were mere empty gestures. The Martyrs Fund has not gone away. 'Pay for slay' lives on. In his first 100 days in office, Biden has resumed funding of the Palestinians and UNRWA. He has rejoined the UNHRC, will probably soon rejoin UNESCO and has pledged to re-open the PLO mission. Biden's State Department has gone back to the old practice of referring to Judea and Samaria as ‘occupied territories.’”(1)

 

Tawil Bassam pointed out that Palestinian leadership has stated that they will not stop payments to terrorists, and expect that “the Biden administration will turn a blind eye to the "pay-for-slay' program and allow them to continue funding terrorists and their families.”(2)   He wrote: “It is clear that any Palestinian ‘commitment’ to cease rewarding terrorists will not be worth the paper it is written on. Abbas and his henchmen are telling the Biden administration one thing in English and their people the opposite in Arabic.”

 

Caschetta wrote that during the Obama administration, Secretary of State “John Kerry acknowledged that Iran would fund terrorism with some of the money it received in the 2015 nuclear deal. It was worth the trade-off, he believed, of a grand deal that would turn the Islamic Republic of Iran into a responsible nuclear power. That was a complete fantasy.”(1)

 

References

1. Caschetta, A.J.  "Biden's Taylor Force Betrayal."  Newsweek, April 12, 2021. https://www.newsweek.com/bidens-taylor-force-betrayal-opinion-1582519 

2. Kredo, Adam. "Palestinians Funneled Hundreds of Millions to Terrorists, State Dept Report Reveals." Free Beacon, March 22, 2021. https://freebeacon.com/national-security/palestinians-funneled-hundreds-millions-terrorists-state-dept-report-reveals/ 

3. Tawil, Bassam. "Palestinians: US Taxpayer Money Going to Terrorists." Gatestone Institute, April 6, 2021. https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/17208/palestinians-terrorists-us-aid-money