Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas attends the meeting of the Palestinian Central Council, in Ramallah, in the West Bank August 15, 2018.
(photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)
Families of victims of Palestinian terrorism in Israel who are American citizens sent a letter to US President Donald Trump Sunday morning, asking him to prevent Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas from entering the US for the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
The letter to Trump and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman was organized by the families after the State Department rejected a similar overture to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo by Palestinian Media Watch last week.
“We, the undersigned American citizens whose loved ones were murdered by Palestinian terrorists, are disappointed and outraged by the American government’s willingness to grant admission to United States to Palestinian Authority President and PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas,” they wrote Trump. “Abbas is the one person who is personally responsible for the monthly reward payments by the PA to terrorists and the families of terrorists who murdered our loved ones.”
The family members called the decision to allow Abbas’s entry to the US “a slap in the face to every American who has suffered from terror” and “in clear violation of the spirit and letter of American law.” They noted that American law bars entry to those who “endorse or espouse terrorist activity or persuade others to endorse or espouse terrorist activity or support a terrorist organization.”
The PA makes monthly payments to Palestinian terrorist prisoners
and to families of terrorists, which US law defines as “payments incentivizing terror” in the Taylor Force Act that Trump signed into law in March. The latest American victim of a terrorist in Israel was Ari Fuld, whose murderer will receive NIS 1,400 monthly from the PA for the next three years following his conviction.
The letter was signed by Fuld’s parents,
Yonah and Mary, his brother, Hillel, and by Stuart and Robbi Force, parents of Taylor Force whose March 2016 murder inspired the law named for him. It was initiated by Micah Lakin Avni, son of peace activist Richard Lakin, who was murdered in October 2015, and signed by 40 parents and siblings of murdered Americans and US citizens injured in attacks.
“It is unethical, immoral and illegal to allow Abbas to set foot on American soil,” Lakin Avni said. “Why should President Trump agree to allow Abbas to visit the United States in order to use the United Nations General Assembly as a platform to continue his incitement to murder American citizens and as a grandstand to sling opprobrious insults at the President?”
But the State Department rejected the request to bar Abbas’s entry that was sent by Palestinian Media Watch, in a statement made to the Washington Free Beacon. A State Department spokesperson said, in most situations, foreign nationals must be admitted to the US due to its role as the UN’s host nation.
“I can’t speak to the specifics, but typically, as host nation for the United Nations, the United States is generally obligated to admit foreign nationals traveling to UN Headquarters in New York for official UN business,” the spokesperson said.
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