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October 7, 2016 4:19 pm

British Jewish Groups Welcome Suspension of UK Funding to Palestinian Authority as International Concerns Over Terror Payments Grow

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British International Development Secretary Priti Patel, who ordered the freeze in UK funding of the Palestinian Authority. Photo: Policy Exchange via Wikimedia Commons.

British International Development Secretary Priti Patel, who ordered the freeze in UK funding of the Palestinian Authority. Photo: Policy Exchange via Wikimedia Commons.

The British government’s decision to suspend funding to the Palestinian Authority amidst growing international concerns over its payments to terrorists and their families marks a “huge victory not only for the pro-Israel community, but also for everyone who wants to see peace in the region,” the head of the UK’s umbrella Zionist organization said in a statement on Friday.

Paul Charney — the chairman of the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland — said of the development, which was reported by The Sun, “For years, the ZF and our supporters have been raising this scandal with our elected representatives. Faced with endless obfustications, denials, and plain falsehoods, we never relented in our determination. Martin Luther King said that the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice, and we’ve seen that today.”

Also praising the move was Simon Johnson, the chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, who said, “It is vital that the Department for International Development is robust in ensuring funds are used to help those in need and not to support destruction and disruption within an already tense political climate. The Jewish Leadership Council will continue to monitor the situation and liaise with DFID where appropriate.”

According to The Sun’s report, International Development Secretary Priti Patel has ordered a freeze in millions of pounds worth of aid pending an investigation into how it is used by the PA.

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The report said the British government was aware that many Palestinian civil servants “were doing other jobs while pocketing UK taxpayers’ cash.”

A British government source told The Sun, “We are not stopping for the Palestinian Authority overall, just delaying it to a date when we know our money won’t be going to people who do nothing in return for it.”

As a result of the funding suspension, £25 million in British government funding will be withheld from the PA this year, the report said.

The UK is not the only nation where attention has been raised recently about the PA’s misuse of foreign funding. A German lawmaker brought up questions in the Bundestag about the issue this summer and last week three Republican senators in the US introduced the Taylor Force Act, which would cut off American funding to the PA if it continues to pay monetary rewards to terrorists and their families.

In an interview last week with The Algemeiner, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said, “We’ve got to go ahead and put sunlight on this problem. The PA incentivizes young Palestinians to commit acts of terror…There has to come a point of awakening here within Palestinian society. I want the Palestinians to make a decision as to what kind of people they are going to be.”

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