The Taylor Force Act passed the US House of Representatives by unanimous consent on Tuesday, confronting the Palestinian Authority with the prospect of a massive cut in US aid for as long as it maintains its policy of paying monthly salaries and other benefits to the families of slain or convicted Palestinian terrorists.
Named in memory of Taylor Force — the former American army officer stabbed to death during a knifing spree by a Palestinian assailant in Tel Aviv in March 2016 — the legislation prevents the transfer of funds “that directly benefit the Palestinian Authority” for a six-year period beginning in 2018 unless the PA verifiably ends its so-called “martyr payments” policy. The Taylor Force Act also requires the PA to repeal any laws enabling or favoring the payments policy, as well investigate terrorist acts for the purpose of “bringing the perpetrators to justice.”
The PA spent $355 million on the payments in 2017. Meanwhile, the US is the PA’s largest international donor, having provided over $700 million in indirect aid to the PA and to the Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA in 2016.
The sponsors of the act in the House gave a fulsome welcome to its passage, one month after the legislation was approved by the House Foreign Affairs Committee.