Top Ex-Israeli Security Officials Back U.S. Bill to Cut Palestinian Funding Over Terrorist Salaries

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
AP/Virginia Mayo

TEL AVIV – A group of former top Israeli security officials have expressed support for proposed U.S. legislation that would cut off American funds to the Palestinian Authority until it stops paying salaries to terrorists and their families.

A letter authored by Brig. Gen. (ret.) Yosef Kuperwasser said failure to pass the Taylor Force Act would mark a “surrender to terror,” the Algemeiner reported.

The bill is named after U.S. Army veteran and Vanderbilt University graduate student Taylor Force, who was killed in a stabbing attack while he toured Tel Aviv with his school in March 2016.

Under the current circumstances, in which imprisoned terrorists “earn” upwards of a few thousand dollars a month according to the gravity of the terror act committed, continued funding of the PA is “illogical, illegal and immoral,” Kuperwasser said.

“Most of all it’s inhuman,” he added.

The letter was co-signed by ex-Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and ex-National Security Adviser Uzi Dayan, as well as Maj. Gen. (ret.) Gershon Hacohen and Brig. Gen. (ret.) Oded Tira.

It comes days after a letter expressing the opposing view was published by Commanders for Israel’s Security, a group of hundreds of former Israeli security figures, who warned that the congressional bill could actually harm Israel’s security interests.

However Kuperwasser claims “there is no reason to believe that if the Taylor Force Act is enacted the security cooperation [between Israel and the PA] is going to stop. The security cooperation serves the interest of the PA.”

In any case, he added, “the PA is not going to collapse because of the Taylor Force Act.”

“The real threats to the PA are its commitment to unattainable political goals and to a long-lasting struggle against Israel, instead of a genuine peace process, its low-level of functioning, the corruption and the lack of a system that guarantees popular trust in the leadership,” Kuperwasser said.

“Supporting the just demand to stop paying terrorists with real pressure goes very well along with Israel’s security interests,” he continued.

“There is no chance that the PA will stop paying those salaries if they don’t feel any pressure,” Kuperwasser noted.

President Donald Trump raised the issue of terrorist payments with PA President Mahmoud Abbas during both of their May meetings.

Palestinian media reported on Friday that PA President Mahmoud Abbas was “fuming” following his Thursday meeting with Trump’s advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner in which American concerns about the payments to imprisoned terrorists were raised once again. Abbas reportedly refused to comply with watered-down demands from Washington that the PA cease payments to 600 terrorists imprisoned on multiple counts of murdering Israelis.

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