Knesset advances 'Taylor Force' bill

The bill will be sent to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee to prepare it for its final readings so it could be passed into law.

June 14, 2017 14:48
2 minute read.
Taylor Force

Taylor Force, 29, was killed by a Palestinian terrorist who went on a stabbing rampage in Jaffa on March 8, 2016. (photo credit: FACEBOOK)

The Knesset voted 48-13 Wednesday to advance a bill that would require the government to subtract funds the Palestinian Authority gives to terrorists and their families from tax and tariff revenue Israel collects on the behalf of the PA.

The bill will be sent to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee to prepare it for its final readings so it can be passed into law.

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The legislation is modeled after the Taylor Force Act in the US, which is named for a former US Army officer killed by a Palestinian terrorist in Jaffa last year.

Yesh Atid MK Elazar Stern, who initiated the bill, told the Knesset the PA distributed some $300 million to the families of terrorists in 2016.

He said terrorists have cited the payments as reasons for why they returned to terrorism after leaving prison.

“The PA cannot on one hand ask to make peace with Israel and on the other continue funding terrorists,” said Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan (Bayit Yehudi).

“The first step for normalizing relations with the PA must be it disconnecting from terrorism.”

Joint List MK Yousef Jabareen responded by calling the bill draconian and collective punishment of the entire Palestinian population.

“This is a bill of an occupier punishing the nation it is occupying,” said Jabareen.

“The payments are intended for families to prevent them from starving.”

The Knesset also voted to advance a bill sponsored by United Torah Judaism MKs Moshe Gafni and Uri Maklev that would combine all emergency numbers in Israel into one, as well as a bill initiated by Zionist Union faction head Merav Michaeli that would equalize legal rulings for sex offenders in the IDF to those of civil courts.

The Knesset voted down a bill that would have prevented anyone who served a jail sentence of at least a year from becoming a minister, MK or mayor for at least 14 years, extending the law from the current seven. The legislation, which fell by a 37-27 vote, would prevent anyone convicted of bribery from running for any of those posts with no time limit.

“There are dozens of professions where one must submit a certificate vouching for their integrity,” said the bill’s sponsor, Zionist Union MK Miki Rosenthal. “The only profession in which the government does not want to require integrity is that of a politician.”

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