Palestinian opposition to ending the policy of “martyr payments” could face a potentially insurmountable obstacle in the form of revised legislation governing American aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) that is expected to be voted on during the fall session of Congress.
A revised version of the Taylor Force Act — amended by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in advance of a vote this Thursday — places even more stringent conditions on aid to the PA as long as it operates a policy dubbed by critics as “pay-to-slay.” Currently, the PA spends more than $300 million of foreign aid money per year on monthly salaries to terrorists and their families that far outstrip the wages paid to Palestinian professionals, including the PA’s own civil servants.
Named in memory of former US Army officer Taylor Force — who was murdered in a Palestinian terrorist attack in Tel Aviv in March 2016 — the act, if passed, would restrict aid to the PA until the State Department certifies that it is no longer inciting and funding terrorist violence. Palestinian leaders have until now resolutely rejected any compromise over the policy, with PA President Mahmoud Abbas declaring he would give up his post before ending the payments.
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