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US House passes measure to slash aid to Palestinian Authority

Seal of the US House of representatives

 The US House of Representatives voted yesterday to reduce the annual $300 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority “unless it take steps to stop making what lawmakers described as payments that reward violent crime”, reported Reuters.

The Taylor Force Act, named after a US citizen killed by a Palestinian in 2016, was adopted by voice vote with a bi-partisan majority.

The measure is intended to stop the Palestinians from paying stipends to the families of Palestinians killed or jailed by the Israeli occupation authorities.

According to Reuters, “to become law, the measure must also be passed by the US Senate and signed by President Donald Trump. Similar legislation has been passed by two Senate committees, but there was no immediate word on when the Senate might take up the bill.”

Read: Trump tells Abbas: Embassy moving to Jerusalem

Reuters notes that “the measures moving through Congress now are not as severe as had been proposed. The legislation passed by the House had been amended to allow exceptions such as continued funding for water projects and children’s vaccinations.”

In addition, as Israeli newspaper Haaretz pointed out, “the entire legislation…does not have any direct effect on funding for the Palestinian security forces in the West Bank.”

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