Vanderbilt graduate student Taylor Force was killed Tuesday March 9, 2016 in a terror attack in Jaffa. (Facebook)
The father of an American soldier murdered while visiting Israel has arrived ahead of a crucial vote which could limit funding sent to the Palestinian Authority (PA) for as long as it pays terrorists.
Captain Taylor Force, 29, was killed in March 2016 when an Arab terrorist carried out a stabbing spree in Jaffa, near Tel Aviv. The attack left five in critical condition as well as taking Force’s life. The attack was the third of the day; a 40-year-old father-of-five was stabbed repeatedly in Petah Tikva before managing to stab the assailant with his own knife, and two policemen were wounded in a Jerusalem shooting earlier.
Following the attack, Force’s family has worked tirelessly to pass a bill preventing payment of American funds to the PA until it ceases paying terrorists and their families. In the absence of any guarantees, the 2016 murder acted as the inspiration for the Taylor Force Act, which was passed earlier this year in both houses of Congress. The Act cuts US aid to the PA until it stops paying terrorists and their families. With Israel now looking to pass a similar bill through the Knesset, Taylor’s father has arrived in Israel to remind the politicians of what is at stake.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has previously spoken out against the situation. “The Palestinian Authority transfers funds to terrorists by various laundering methods,” read an English press release issued by the Prime Minister’s Office website. “The more severe the acts of terrorism, the greater the amount of funds. Prime Minister Netanyahu has ordered that the entire amount of support for terrorists and their families be deducted from the tax revenues that Israel transfers monthly to the Palestinian Authority. Israel believes that the encouragement of terrorism by the Palestinian leadership – in the form of both incitement and payments to terrorists and their families – constitutes incentive for murder.”
The vote comes on the same day that Australia ended direct aid being sent to the PA amid fears that the money ends up being partially rerouted to terrorists. A decision was taken to instead direct aid money via the UN, which would then spend the money on water, shelter and food programs rather than allowing the PA to decide how to spend the funds.
Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop expressed concern that the donations could increase the PA’s capacity to pay terrorists convicted of politically motivated violence. Earlier today, Bishop told the media that she had sought assurance in May that Australian funds were not being misspent, and after receiving no response Australia had been forced to cut off funding to a World Bank trust fund.
“I am concerned that in providing funds for this aspect of the PA’s operations there is an opportunity for it to use its own budget to (fund) activities that Australia would never support,” a statement released by Bishop read. “Any assistance provided by the Palestine Liberation Organization to those convicted of politically motivated violence is an affront to Australian values and undermines the prospect”.