WASHINGTON — Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham will reintroduce legislation next week that would cut US funding to the Palestinian Authority if it continues to provide monetary support to the families of those who commit acts of terror against Israelis and others.
The bill, known as the Taylor Force Act, was first introduced last year by Graham with former Indiana Republican Sen. Dan Coats and Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt. It was referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at the time, but never came up for a vote.
The legislation is named after former US army officer Taylor Force, who was stabbed to death in March 2016 by a Palestinian assailant while visiting Tel Aviv. Force was a graduate student at Vanderbilt University and was traveling with other students on a program studying global entrepreneurship.
He was 29 years old at the time and had served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Graham’s office announced in a press release Wednesday he would reintroduce the measure during a press conference on Tuesday, February 28.
Introducing the legislation last September, Graham said it “shines a light on a very real problem.”
“Why is the Palestinian Authority paying young Palestinians to commit acts of terror against innocent Americans like Taylor Force or Israelis? The Palestinians need to decide – do they condemn these horrible acts or do they reward them?” he said.
“You can’t be a partner in peace when you are paying people to commit terrorist acts. The choice the Palestinians make will determine the type of relationship they have with the United States in the years to come.”
US foreign aid to the Palestinians is already under strict congressional oversight and restrictions based on concern that it could be “diverted to Palestinian terrorist groups.”
All aid is thus relegated to US-administered project assistance and budget support for the Palestinian Authority, along with donations going to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).