NEW YORK, June 13, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC welcomed Secretary of State Tillerson's comments today that the Palestinian Authority, responding to U.S. pressure, will end its longstanding practice of financially rewarding terrorists and their families.
"Creating monetary incentives for terrorists is a key factor impeding the peace process and nurturing a Palestinian culture of violence and hatred," said AJC CEO David Harris. "If a firm U.S. stance actually leads to the end of this outrageous practice, as Secretary Tillerson said will be the case, AJC would be the first to applaud."
During his testimony on the State Department budget today before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Tillerson noted: "We have been very clear with them that this [practice of paying terrorists] is simply not acceptable to us." He was referring to meetings that President Trump and he held with PA President Abbas at the White House on May 3, and in Bethlehem on May 23.
"They have changed that policy and their intent is to cease the payments to the families of those who have committed murder or violence against others," Tillerson told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, indicating that the Administration will follow up with the PA.
The PA has paid an estimated $1.12 billion over the past four years to terrorists and their families, according to Brig.-Gen (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, a former director general of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs and ex-head of the army's intelligence and research division, as reported in the Times of Israel.
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SOURCE American Jewish Committee