A group of U.S. senators have introduced a bill known as the Taylor Force Act—named after a U.S. veteran murdered by a Palestinian in July—that would withhold funding from the Palestinian Authority (PA) until it ceases paying stipends to terrorists in Israeli prisons. These stipends, which this year have amounted to a total of $300 million, are a key element in the PA’s system of inciting and rewarding terror, as Yossi Kuperwasser explains:
The payments of salaries by the PA and the PLO to terrorists and to the families of dead terrorists reflect the core identity of the general Palestinian public as [these organizations] see it. According to Palestinian leaders, achieving their national goal of establishing their state over all of Palestine commits them to struggling against Zionism in a wide variety of ways, including terrorism. Therefore, terrorists . . . are heroes fighting for the national and religious cause, and should be glorified and rewarded without any hesitation.
The salary payments to terrorists from all Palestinian terror organizations, including Hamas, . . . are [mandated by] Palestinian Authority legislation that refers to the terrorists specifically as “fighters.” It makes clear that the Oslo Accords are not considered by the Palestinian leadership and by most of the Palestinian people as a [renunciation of] or an end to the battle against Zionism.
The feeble reaction of Israel and the [donor nations who fund the PA] shows how wishful and careless they are regarding . . . Palestinian ideology. It also reflects the success of the Palestinians in portraying themselves as the victims of the West and Israel. . . .
Legally, the payments of salaries to terrorists stand in sharp contrast to the Oslo agreement, according to which the PLO, and the PA through the PLO, have committed themselves to stop terror and to refrain from encouraging it. It is also in stark contradiction to international conventions . . . and to the laws of most donor countries, since [the payments constitute] direct support for individuals affiliated with entities designated as terrorist organizations by both the United States and the EU.