Republican Congressmen Urge Treasury Dept. to Blacklist Palestinian Official Over Payments to Terrorists

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AP/Adel Hana

Reps. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and Doug Lamborn (R-CO) urged the United States Department of Treasury on Tuesday to use Executive Order 13224 to blacklist Issa Karake, director of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO)’s Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs.

In his PLO position, Karake reportedly oversees the transfer of payments to terrorists and their families when they carry out attacks on Israelis, Jews, and Americans.

EO 13224, a law passed by Congress under former President George W. Bush, allows the United States government to designate and block the assets of foreign people, entities, and corporations that commit or pose a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism. The order specifically states, “All property and interests in property of designated individuals or entities that are in the United States or that come within the United States, or that come within the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked.”

EO 13224 is the same order that allowed President Donald Trump to authorize the Treasury Department to sanction Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization; a move the commander-in-chief said was “long overdue.”

By designating Karake under EO 13224, the United States government would be taking a crucial step towards implementing the Taylor Force Act (House Resolution 1164), which was by Congress in March, that cuts aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) if it refuses to end its practice of “pay for slay,” which involves rewarding terrorists for killing Americans and Israelis. The Taylor Force Act also ensures that U.S. taxpayers no longer subsidize these payments.

The PA reportedly rewards terrorists with up to $3,500 per month.

The Taylor Force Act was named after a former U.S. Army veteran and a graduate of West Point who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist in March 2016 while visiting Tel Aviv. Taylor Force was 28 at the time of his death.

Zeldin said Taylor Force was “a very promising young man who was brutally murdered by a Palestinian terrorist” during his statements on the floor on Tuesday. He added, “The Palestinian Authority incites this type of violence and financially rewards the families of these terrorists, just like the one who murdered Taylor. It is our responsibility to protect our nation’s citizens at home and abroad and hold those who encourage and incite the murder of innocent Americans accountable for their crimes.”

On Tuesday, the Israeli-American Coalition for Action (IAC for Action) issued a statement commending Zeldin and Lamborn for their actions. IAC for Action is one of the most stalwart supporters of the Taylor Force Act.

“We commend Reps. Zeldin and Lamborn for spearheading the passage, and now the implementation, of the Taylor Force Act,” IAC for Action Chairman Shawn Evenhaim said in the statement. “It is critical that our policymakers take action to ensure that this important law is enforced. We were proud to play a major role in rallying the Jewish, pro-Israel, and legislative communities around the Taylor Force Act’s passage, and we will continue leading the charge to implement this law, working alongside leaders like Reps. Zeldin and Lamborn.”

Adelle Nazarian is a politics and national security reporter for Breitbart News. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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