The U.S. released $61 million to the Palestinian Authority despite the passage of the Taylor Force Act, which prohibits the United States from providing economic aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) until it discontinues paying stipends to terrorists and their families.
According to a State Department official, the money is specifically earmarked for security assistance, including international narcotics and law enforcement as well as non-proliferation, anti-terrorism and de-mining funding, reported The Jerusalem Post.
Assuming the release of the funds was legal (the bill was reportedly written with a number of loopholes and exceptions), the abject corruption of the Palestinian Authority (PA) should be enough for the State Department to think twice before releasing millions of dollars to known funders of terror.
As pointed out by the Post, last year the White House conducted a “holistic review” of foreign governments and international agencies to assess whether or not to provide them with U.S. aid.
Certainly, a “holistic” assessment of the PA should be undertaken by the Trump Administration. That assessment should consider the report by The Coalition for Accountability and Integrity, the Palestinian’s own organization, which noted:
- The parliament never meets to pass laws
- There is no independent judiciary due to executive fiat
- High-paying government jobs are not advertised, but rather handed out based on cronyism
- High-level, influential people are granted tax and customs exemptions when purchasing cars
- Total salaries for the Major Generals, Brigadier Generals, Colonels and Lieutenant Colonel in 2016 equaled the salaries of 13,000 soldiers. The total number of officers of these ranks was 5,672. The ratio of officers to soldiers is 1:2. (In Israel, the ratio is 1:9.)
- Funds are “spent” to pay the salaries of non-existent entities (for example, salaries and even raises to workers of Palestinian Airlines, which no longer exists).
- The building of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ presidential palace, which cost the PA $17.5 million
The Palestinian Authority has proven itself to be corrupt. It is a non-stop inciter of violence, indoctrinating children on a daily basis to hate Jews and Americans and carry out terror attacks (for which they are taught they will be rewarded).
For the U.S. to release $61 million to the Palestinian Authority is not just poor judgement, it sets a dangerous precedent, signalling to other enemies of the U.S. that the U.S. is willing to look the other way when it comes to Islamist terror and its incitement.