What is US Department of State’s Special Representative for Palestinian Affairs doing to implement the Taylor Force Act?
- The US Special Representative for Palestinian Affairs has met with PA, PLO, and Fatah officials to “to improve the lives of the Palestinian people” but did he call on the PA to abolish its Pay-for-Slay policy of rewarding terrorists and murderers for attacking and murdering Israelis?
The 2018 bi-partisan US Taylor Force Act (TFA) conditioned much of the US aid to the Palestinian Authority on the latter abolishing its Pay-for-Slay terror reward policy. TFA was not merely a financial law. Rather, it contained substantive Congressional findings and direction, inter alia, to the US Department of State regarding the activities required of their representatives to pressure the PA to abandon its policy.
After finding that “The Palestinian Authority’s practice of paying salaries to terrorists serving in Israeli prisons, as well as to the families of deceased terrorists, is an incentive to commit acts of terror” TFA added the “Sense of Congress.” In this section of TFA, Congress called on the PA to abandon its terror reward policy and on other PA donor countries to cease aid to the PA until the PA abolished the policy.
TFA then added directions to urge “the Department of State to use its bilateral and multilateral engagements with all governments and organizations committed to the cause of peace between Israel and the Palestinians to highlight the issue of Palestinian Authority payments for acts of terrorism and to urge such governments and organizations to join the United States in calling on the Palestinian Authority to immediately cease such payments.”
In recent weeks, the PA approved its 2023 budget. While the PA hides its finances, the PA’s 2023 budget includes hundreds of millions of dollars that the PA will spend on its terror incentivizing and rewarding payments.
Soon after the announcement of the PA cabinet approval of the budget, Mr. Hady Amr, who according to the US Department of State website currently serves as the Special Representative for Palestinian Affairs within the Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs met with different senior PA, PLO and Fatah officials.
On April 11, Amr met, in the US, with governor of the PA Monetary Authority, Feras Milhem.
[Twitter account of the U.S. State Dept. - Near Eastern Affairs, April 11, 2023]
Two days later, in Ramallah, Amr met with Hussein Al-Sheikh, who is the Secretary General of theExecutive Committee of the PLO (which is still a US designated terror organization).
[Twitter account of Hussein Al-Sheikh, April 13, 2023]
On April 17, Amr met with Fatah Secretary Jibril Rajoub, who, as Palestinian Media Watch has exposed, openly called for the commission of terror attacks against Israel and uses his position as the Head of the Palestinian Football Association and Palestinian Olympic Committee to promote and glorify terror.
[Twitter account of the U.S. State Dept. - Near Eastern Affairs, April 17, 2023]
The US Department of State, Office of Palestinian Affairs, summed up Amr’s recent trip to the region by saying:
“Special Rep. Hady Amr wraps up six days in Jerusalem & the West Bank where he engaged w/government, religious and civil society leaders to improve the lives of the Palestinian people. He also had moving visits to the Church of the Holy Seplechure and Al Aqsa mosque.” (errors in source –Ed.)
[Twitter account of the U.S. Office of Palestinian Affairs, April 19, 2023]
While Amr is meeting with all the right people “to improve the lives of the Palestinian people” glaringly missing from all of the reports about his meetings is a clear, unequivocal and repeated call, as required by TFA, from the US administration’s most senior official to the Palestinians, demanding that the PA/PLO abolish its terror incentivizing and rewarding payments.
Having now completed six months in his position as the Biden administration’s Special Representative for Palestinian Affairs, Amr should be requested to provide a detailed summary of all his efforts to persuade the PA to abolish its terror reward policy. The summary should include details of every meeting held by Amr with PA/PLO officials in which he raised and relayed the Sense of Congress, included in TFA, calling on the PA/PLO “to stop payments for acts of terrorism by individuals who are imprisoned after being fairly tried and convicted for acts of terrorism and by individuals who died committing acts of terrorism and to repeal the laws authorizing such payments.”