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Cruz raising stakes in fight against terror salaries

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, will reintroduce a bill that would sanction Palestinian officials responsible for the payment of salaries to terrorists and their families.

Already, under the Taylor Force Act, the U.S. has cut off subsidies to the Palestinian Authority for its funding of jailed terrorists and the families of dead terrorists.

As WND has reported, Western nations that financially support the Palestinian Authority have responded in recent years to the terror funding.

Last month, the Dutch parliament approve a 7 percent cut in funding to the PA, which is equivalent to the amount the PA spends on terrorists.

The American Center for Law and Justice said it’s “past time for Congress to impose direct punishment on the Palestinian officials who oversee the distribution of these pernicious, terrorism-inducing rewards.”

Cruz’ End Palestinian Terror Salaries Act “would impose sanctions on Palestinian officials who habitually provide financial rewards for Palestinian terror attacks,” the legal group said.

“Payments made to terrorists and their families clearly incentivize further acts of terror,” said ACLJ.

The bill would impose massive financial penalties on Palestinian officials within 90 days of being enacted.

“We must continue to stand strong in defense of Israel. This act would be a major step in doing so,” ACLJ said.

Cruz has explained that Palestinian terrorists have wounded or killed more than a dozen Israelis over the last few months, including 45-year-old American-Israeli Ari Fuld.

“The Palestinian government continues to provide hundreds of millions of dollars each year rewarding such terrorists and their families, providing an incentive for ever more violence,” he said.

Fuld was stabbed by a Palestinian teenager. While the terrorist was caught and is behind bars, his family is set to get monthly payments.

Earlier this year, the PA thumbed its nose at the U.S. adoption of the Taylor Force Act.

Palestinian Media Watch documented PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ statement to the PLO Central Council that “we will continue to pay” the salaries.

Official PA TV said there is “something that the Americans are telling us to stop – the salaries of the martyrs and the martyrs’ families.”

“Of course we categorically reject this. We will not under any circumstances allow anyone to harm the families of the prisoners, the wounded, and the martyrs. They are our children and they are our families.”

WND reported when the United Nations insisted the U.S. continue payments to the Palestinians.

One official publicly berated the U.S. for not paying more than its fair share of costs for a U.N. refugee program after President Trump curbed support to motivate Palestinians to be serious about negotiating for peace with Israel.

WND reported the president urged the withholding of tens of millions of dollars from funds that support Palestinians.

His efforts were met with the threat of terrorism from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Bloomberg reported.

Abbas told the U.N. Security Council he will not meet with U.S. officials until Trump reverses his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

He went far beyond that, though.

“He finished his address with a warning – which others may read as a threat – of violence unless the U.S. restores funds that were cut to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, which administers to millions of Palestinian refugees,” the report said.

“If you end your assistance they become terrorists or refugees in Europe,” Abbas said. “It’s either that or you continue to support UNRWA until the crisis ends. We are ready to begin negotiations. We beg you to help us so that we may not commit an act that goes against our beliefs and your beliefs.”

The Trump administration rejected U.N. calls for it to pay $364 million, sending only $60 million.