Trump administration backs bill suspending aid to PA

The Trump administration yesterday announced its backing for a bill that would suspend US aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) until the latter ends payments to prisoners and their families.

“The Trump administration strongly supports the Taylor Force Act, which is a consequence of Palestinian Authority and Palestine Liberation Organisation’s policy of paying terrorists and their families”, the State Department said.

The statement added that President Donald Trump “raised the need to end any part of this programme that incentivises violence against Israeli and American citizens with President Mahmoud Abbas last May in both Washington and Bethlehem.”

The announcement comes six weeks after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee backed the measure. The legislation is named after an American student killed by a Palestinian in March 2016 while visiting Israel.

Read: US lawmakers campaign to cut funding to PA

One of the bill’s main sponsors, Senator Bob Corker, has accused the PA of creating “monetary incentives for acts of terrorism”. Corker is chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.

Husam Zomlot, the Palestinian envoy to the US, said last month that the payments give support to families “who lost their breadwinners to the atrocities of the occupation, the vast majority of whom are unduly arrested or killed by Israel”.

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