Victims of terrorism sue Biden admin. for funding Palestinian Authority

U.S. President Joe Biden | ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

A conservative legal watchdog group filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration on behalf of victims of Palestinian terrorist attacks, claiming that the administration is in violation of federal law by funding the Palestinian Authority, which pays terrorists and their families for attacking and killing Israelis. 

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Amarillo Division, on Tuesday, argues that the Biden administration is in violation of the Taylor Force Act. The act prohibits American aid from being sent to the Palestinian Authority until it ceases paying stipends to individuals who commit terrorism and to the terrorists’ families. 

The conservative watchdog group America First Legal filed the lawsuit, with Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, listed as one of the plaintiffs. Another plaintiff listed are the parents of U.S. Army veteran Taylor Force, a native of Lubbock and West Point graduate who was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist during a 2016 visit to Israel. 

Sarri Singer, the survivor of a 2003 suicide bombing in Jerusalem that killed 17, is also listed as a plaintiff in the lawsuit. 

“Our lawsuit seeks to stop President Biden from violating the Taylor Force Act and illegally subsidizing terrorism against Americans who visit or live in Israel,” America First Legal President Stephen Miller said in a Tuesday press release

Miller explained that the Taylor Force Act is named after the West Point graduate who was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist. Force’s parents, Stuart and Robbi Force, pointed out in a separate statement that the act passed due to bipartisan efforts in Congress and support from various groups that did not want to see terrorism “rewarded.” 

The parents believe that the administration continuing to fund the Palestinian Authority dishonors their son’s legacy and ignores the wishes of Americans who do not want taxpayer dollars funding terrorism. 

“In October, six years after the attack, Robbi and I went to the boardwalk in Jaffa, Israel, to the spot where we lost Taylor,” the parents stated. “We shared our experience there with our daughter, telling her what we felt and sending a picture of the beautiful setting.”

 “She told us that Taylor is with friends, in a beautiful place, and happy. That is where the story should have ended,” they concluded.

The White House did not immediately respond to The Christian Post’s request for comment.

Singer, herself a victim of one of the largest bus bombing terrorist attacks in Jerusalem during the second intifada, a major Palestinian uprising against Israel in the early 2000s, believes her country and its president have a duty to ensure the “safety of all American citizens no matter where they are.” 

“The foreign aid, which is our tax dollars, being sent over to the Palestinian Authority is being used to perpetuate, encourage and continue the cycle of violence and terrorism. The 'Pay for Slay' program needs to be shut down and the Biden administration needs to put the safety of Americans first,” the suicide bombing survivor said. 

Congressman Jackson seconded Singer’s statement, calling for an end to taxpayer dollars being used to fund terrorism in Israel, voicing a “deep respect for my fellow plaintiffs who have been tragically and directly impacted by 'Pay to Slay.'” 

The Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA), an organization that educates leaders on American defense and strategic interests, reported in July that Palestinian leaders privately admit that such payments are intended to prevent Hamas from making them and gaining favor among West Bank Palestinians. 

The Palestinian Authority also claims that the payments are to prevent families from facing destitution if the terrorist who was the “breadwinner” in the family has died or been jailed. However, JINSA noted that the Palestinian Authority provides payment for acts of terrorism, regardless if a terrorist is the breadwinner or employed. 

“The Palestinian Authority should repeal its pay-for-slay law and budget and instead build a social safety net open to everyone — including terrorists’ families and released prisoners — that is based solely on need,” the group stated. “The infrastructure for this exists. A legitimate social-welfare system must be built around welfare and job programs, not encouraging violence.” 

JINSA also asserts that the Biden administration has provided humanitarian assistance to the West Bank that is consistent with Taylor Force restrictions. The organization also notes that American diplomats have regularly met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follower her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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