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White House sends warning shot to Palestinians over ‘pay for slay’

“This is unconscionable and must stop if there is to be any hope for peace.”

The Trump administration is warning the Palestinian Authority that severe US aid cuts to Ramallah may be in the offing unless it ends its compensation program for the families of murderers and terrorists convicted by Israel.

Responding to reports that the family of the killer of Ari Fuld, an American citizen, would receive official compensation for the terrorist act, a White House official noted that recent congressional legislation compels the administration to “restrict the use of Economic Support Funds that directly benefit the Palestinian Authority” unless the State Department “certifies that the PA has taken steps to end the practice of providing payments to individuals, and families of individuals, who committed acts of terrorism.”“As we’ve seen from today’s announcement by the Palestinian Prisoner Affairs Commission with respect to the terrorist who killed Ari Fuld, the practice continues,” said Edgar Vasquez, a White House spokesman. “This is unconscionable and must stop if there is to be any hope for peace.”

Vasquez said the administration “strongly supports” the bill signed into law in March of this year, called the Taylor Force Act, named after the US Army veteran and Vanderbilt graduate student killed in a terrorist attack in Jaffa in 2016. The law would halt funding the PA– except for three exceptions– unless the State Department reports an end to the payment scheme.

“The United States condemns the Palestinian Authority’s payments to terrorists and their families,” Vasquez stated. “We strongly oppose any program that incentivizes acts of violence and terrorism. We continue to demand that the Palestinian Authority stop payments related to perpetrators of political violence.”

Earlier on Thursday, US Ambassador David Friedman condemned the practice in similarly strong terms in a Twitter post.

“The Palestinian Prisoner Affairs Commission has confirmed that the family of the terrorist who murdered Ari Fuld is ‘eligible to receive a monthly salary’ as compensation for his incarceration,” Friedman wrote of the practice, which he also characterized as “unconscionable.”


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