Photo Credit: Courtesy
The late Taylor Force was murdered by an Arab terrorist in Tel Aviv, March 8, 2016.

On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Biden administration is desperately looking for a legal way to financially support the Palestinian Authority, after officials in Ramallah have warned that it is close to running out of money, which could be embarrassing, seeing as the administration is expecting to impose the PA folks on Gaza just as soon as IDF soldiers stop bleeding for that cause.

Last Wednesday, economist Shukri Bishara who has served as the Palestinian Authority’s Finance Minister since 2013, told The Financial Times the Authority would have to “stop and reconsider everything” it is doing in two to three weeks if Israel continues to withhold a substantial part of its revenues (Financial Times: Palestinian Authority 2 Weeks Away from Bankruptcy).


The administration is attempting to circumvent the Taylor Force Act, which prohibits direct contributions to the Palestinian Authority. Concurrently, sources inside the Biden administration are reportedly urging US allies to increase their support for the PA, the WSJ reported, citing US officials.

In the wake of the October atrocities, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich halted the transfer of all tax revenue that had been sent monthly to the Palestinian Authority, pending approval from his office. Subsequently, the Israeli government decided to suspend only revenue designated for the Palestinian Authority’s Gaza-based employees, citing concerns that these funds were benefiting Hamas terrorists. In addition, Smotrich continued to cut from the payments an amount equal to what the PA was laying out in salaries to terrorists behind bars in Israel, and the families of dead terrorists.

Taylor Force, a native of Lubbock, Texas, who graduated from West Point in 2009 and served tours of duty in both Afghanistan and Iraq, was killed in Tel Aviv on March 8, 2016, in a terrorist stabbing attack by an Arab from Qalqilya. Because the killer died while committing an act of terrorism, the killer’s relatives were paid a monthly pension equal to several times the average monthly wage in the PA.

The 2018 Taylor Force Act stopped American economic aid to the PA until the PA ceases paying stipends through the Palestinian Authority Martyr’s Fund to individuals who commit acts of terrorism and to the families of deceased terrorists. The Act was signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 23, 2018, effectively cutting about a third of US foreign aid payments to the PA. And then, on August 24, 2018, the US cut more than $200 million in direct aid to the PA. Also in August 2018, the US stopped giving aid to UNRWA, representing an aid cut of $300 million altogether.


In retaliation for Smotrich’s move, the Palestinian Authority declared it would refuse any partial revenue transfers. The Authority manages the salaries of approximately 150,000 public-sector employees in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, as per its official figures.

The rationale presented by the administration for trying to bypass Taylor Force is that if the PA runs out of money, it would become vulnerable to groups that both Israel and the US view as more extremist and opposed to compromise. The Americans warn of a deteriorating security situation in Judea and Samaria as if the PA in the past few years has had much say regarding the security, with its units shying away from terrorist cities such as Jenin, Shechem, and Tulkarem.

In January, amidst Congressional deliberations on a foreign aid package, which had been passed by the Senate on Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) criticized the Palestinian Authority as “consistently and extensively corrupt,” and opposed the inclusion of funding for Palestinian aid in the bill.

The Senate recently approved a US Aid bill that allocates $14.1 billion for Israel’s operations in Gaza, and also offers nearly $10 billion in humanitarian assistance for civilians in conflict areas such as Gaza, with no direct allocation to the Palestinian Authority. However, this aspect of the bill is expected to encounter significant obstacles in the Republican-controlled House.

EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process Sven Koopmans (from Holland) told the WSJ, that despite its glaring corruption, the Palestinian Authority is “an essential partner and we have to stand by them and we also encourage them very much to reform and we are helping them on that,” because “If the PA collapses for any reason, it is a catastrophe for the security situation, for the Palestinians, for the Israelis and for the wider region.”

No, it isn’t, but it is well-known that you can’t talk sense into a Dutchman on a Sunday.


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