US Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Thursday urged Congress to step up its efforts to halt the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) “pay-to-slay” policy in the wake of the latest terrorist attacks against Israelis in Judea and Samaria.
“Palestinian terrorists have killed or wounded over a dozen Israelis in the last week. My prayers are with the Israeli victims and their families. Congress must redouble efforts to halt the Palestinian government’s pay-to-slay programs, which incite and encourage this terrorism,” tweeted Cruz.
His tweet followed the latest attack in Givat Assaf in the Binyamin region, in which two soldiers were murdered.
Earlier on Thursday, US Ambassador to Israel’s David Friedman similarly condemned the PA’s policies that reward terrorists.
“In the past week Palestinian terrorists have killed or wounded 14 Israelis in multiple attacks. The Palestinian Authority maintains laws that will compensate these terrorists and their families for their heinous acts. The PA can be a political body OR a sponsor of terror, not both,” Friedman tweeted.
On Sunday, the US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, also called for an end to the PA’s policy of paying terrorists and their families, following the attack at the Ofra junction.
According to Palestinian Authority figures, the monthly allowance per prisoner is higher than that of an active member of the PA security forces. The PA budget for payments to terrorists in Israeli prisons skyrocketed to $158 million in 2017.
Despite repeated calls from both Israel and the United States to stop the practice of paying terrorists, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas has continuously stressed that “families of the martyrs will continue to receive their allowances in full.”
In a recent speech, Abbas called the PA’s continued payments to terrorists a “red line” that would not be halted under any circumstances.