Creating new perspectives since 2009

Washington puts more pressure on Abbas: US Congress passed a bill reducing aid to Palestinians

December 7, 2017 at 3:38 am

US Congress in session [Lawrence Jackson/Wikipedia]

The US Congress passed a bill that cuts about $300 million aid to the Palestinian Authority unless it takes steps to curb payments that reward violent crimes.

On Tuesday, the Congress endorsed the Taylor Force Act, named after a 29-year-old US soldier, who was stabbed by a Palestinian during his visit to Israel last year.

The legislation aims to prevent the Palestinian Authority from paying pensions, which could amount to 3,500 dollars a month, to the families of Palestinians killed by the Israeli authorities or thrown into their prisons.

In order for the legislation to become a law, it must also be approved by the US Senate before it is signed by President Donald Trump.

Read More: Palestinians Abroad condemn US step to move embassy to Jerusalem

Two Senate committees passed similar legislation, but there is no news on the exact time the Senate, with all of its committees, will consider the bill.

Palestinian officials say that they intend to continue paying these pensions, which they consider as a form of support for relatives of Palestinian detainees who were imprisoned by Israel or those who were killed in connection with the case.

The legislation that was passed by the Congress was amended to allow exceptions, such as continuing funding water projects and child vaccines.

The decision came at a time when senior US officials said that on Wednesday 6 December 2017, President Donald Trump would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and would move the US embassy to the historic city in a resolution which would revoke a decades-old US policy and threaten to provoke new troubles in the Middle East.