President Barack Obama pressured the Palestinian Authority to stop inciting terrorism against Israeli civilians late in his second term. The Consolidated Appropriation Act of 2016 outlined that the State Department should reduce funds to the PA “equivalent to the amount expended by the Palestinian Authority as payments for acts of terrorism by individuals who are imprisoned after being fairly tried and convicted for acts of terrorism and by individuals who died committing acts of terrorism.” That Act was followed by the Taylor Force Act which “condition[ed] assistance to the West Bank and Gaza on steps by the Palestinian Authority to end violence and terrorism against Israeli citizens.“
PA President Mahmoud Abbas was unmoved and refused to stop the very popular “Pay-to-Slay” program which rewarded terrorists and their families based on their crimes and how long they served in Israeli jails.
President Trump continued to act upon U.S. principles to withdraw American largess when Abbas said that he celebrated martyrs and was commitment to pay Palestinian terrorist families “even if it costs PA its last penny.” Trump not only pulled donations from the PA but from UNRWA, the United Nations agency which employs 30,000 Palestinians to handle the education, healthcare, housing and small business loans for 6.3 million Palestinian Arabs.
While funding to the Palestinians withered during Trump’s term, so did the wars and terrorist activity. The wars from Gaza which began shortly after Obama was elected (2008-9) continued with wars in 2012 and 2014, followed by the “Stabbing and Car Ramming Intifada” from the West Bank in 2015-6, slowed to a low boil. Overall, 47 Israelis were killed by Arab terrorists during Trump’s term, the lowest tally in any four year span going back decades. This coincided with the fewest Palestinians killed during the four Trump years due to the lack of any large scale attacks.
Enter President Joe Biden in 2021, who made clear his desire to start giving money to Palestinians without insisting on reforms to their laws or activities. Biden’s team began to work with the PA to figure out ways to funnel it funds without tripping U.S. laws. Some ideas floated had the “martyr” families getting “jobs” with the PA for which they needn’t show. Another considered using the Palestinian Postal system to make the prisoner payments as the U.S. laws were directed at banks.
Ha ha. HAMAS leaders know better.
Rather than having a trickle of money pour into Palestinian pockets, they manufactured a “humanitarian crisis.” They launched rockets (which had been gathering dust during the Trump years) from densely populated Gaza neighborhoods into Israeli towns, inviting retaliatory strikes causing tremendous damage to lives and infrastructure. Palestinians then mobilized with follow-up appeals to the global community, complete with pictures of children amid the rubble as they cast themselves as victims to a charged anti-Zionist audience.
The United States reduced funding to the Palestinian Authority because of its refusal to stop INCITING terrorism, but now plans to pour hundreds of millions of dollars because of COMMITING terrorism. Such is the finesse of HAMAS, playing on the stupidity of an administration which refuses to hold terrorists accountable as well as eager to cut checks to anyone who looks like a victim.
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