WASHINGTON -- The Taylor Force Act came one step closer to becoming law after passing through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with bipartisan support.
The bill calls for an end to U.S. funding of the Palestinian Authority until it stops financially rewarding people for being terrorists. The United States currently gives almost $400 million a year to help the foreign government.
"If you murder an Israeli or someone else, you get $3,500 a month," said Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.
Corker says in interviews conducted with Palestinian prisoners, the captives admitted there was an incentive to commit more egregious crimes in order to receive more money. He says their goal was to do something worthy of at least a five-year sentence to get the payment increased.
The bill is named in honor of American business school student and combat veteran Taylor Force, who was brutally stabbed to death in March 2016 while on a school trip to Israel. The 21-year-old Palestinian man who killed him was then praised and financially rewarded by his government.
"Taylor was an American hero who was brutally murdered at the hands of terrorists. Yet instead of condemning this horrific attack, and so many others like it, the Palestinian Authority rewards terrorists," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who introduced the bill. "These rewards for terrorist attacks are inconsistent with American values. They are inconsistent with decency. And they are certainly inconsistent with peace."
"Simply put, you can't be a partner in peace when you are paying people to commit acts of terror. It is long past time to let the Palestinian Authority know that these practices are wholly unacceptable," Graham said in a statement.
The measure passed the committee with bipartisan support, and both senators feel confident it will soon become law.
"This legislation will force the Palestinian Authority to make a choice: Either face the consequences of stoking violence or end this detestable practice immediately," said Corker. "I thank Sen. Graham for his important role in this effort and look forward to this bill becoming law."