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June 25, 2017 11:12 am

Group of Top Ex-Israeli Security Officials Back US Legislation to Cut Funding of Palestinian Authority Over Terror Payments

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Photo: Kremlin.ru via Wikimedia Commons.

A group of former top Israeli security officials are speaking out in favor of a proposed congressional bill that would cut off American funding of the Palestinian Authority if it continues to pay monetary rewards to terrorists and their families.

In a letter that was seen by The Algemeiner, Brig. Gen. (ret.) Yosef Kuperwasser wrote that a failure to pass the Taylor Force Act would mark a “surrender to terror.”

Providing the PA with money that enables its terror payments is “illogical, illegal and immoral,” Kuperwasser said. “Most of all it’s inhuman.”

The letter — which Kuperwasser said was cosigned by ex-Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and ex-National Security Adviser Uzi Dayan, as well as Maj. Gen. (ret.) Gershon Hacohen and Brig. Gen. (ret.) Oded Tira — was penned in response to a missive published last week by Commanders for Israel’s Security (a group of hundreds of former Israeli security figures) that warned of potential negative consequences of the US legislation, including the harming of Israeli security.

In Kuperwasser’s view, however, “there is no reason to believe that if the Taylor Force Act is enacted the security cooperation [between Israel and the PA] is going to stop. The security cooperation serves the interest of the PA.”

Also, he explained, “the PA is not going to collapse because of the Taylor Force Act.”

“The real threats to the PA are its commitment to unattainable political goals and to a long-lasting struggle against Israel, instead of a genuine peace process, its low-level of functioning, the corruption and the lack of a system that guarantees popular trust in the leadership,” Kuperwasser said.

“Supporting the just demand to stop paying terrorists with real pressure goes very well along with Israel’s security interests,” he continued.

“There is no chance that the PA will stop paying those salaries if they don’t feel any pressure,” Kuperwasser noted.

The Taylor Force Act — named after the 28-year-old US military veteran who was killed by a Palestinian terrorist in a March 2016 stabbing attack in Tel Aviv  —  was introduced in February by Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Congressman Doug Lamborn of Colorado but has made no legislative progress since.

While President Donald Trump has never publicly mentioned the Taylor Force Act itself, he did raise the issue of terror payments with PA President Mahmoud Abbas during their recent meetings.

It was also reported that Trump’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner angered PA President Mahmoud Abbas during a discussion of the matter at their meeting in Ramallah this past week.

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