Donald Trump
Donald TrumpReuters

Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) has written to President Donald Trump calling on him to designate the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs and its Director Qadri Abu Bakr as sponsors of terror because of their direct involvement in the monthly payments to terrorists and their families.

Rep. Lamborn was involved in initiating the Taylor Force Act, signed into law by President Trump in 2018, which conditions U.S. direct aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) on the abolition of the PA’s payment of cash rewards to terrorists and their families, the so-called “pay for slay” payments. According to Rep. Lamborn, by ignoring the Taylor Force Act and a similar law passed in the Knesset, the PA has made the clear choice to reject not only US aid, but also US values and the global fight against terror.

“Unfortunately, the Palestinian leadership has continued to pay the terror rewards to terrorists, spending hundreds of millions of dollars every year to these monsters and their families,” Rep. Lamborn wrote in his letter to the president. “Since the passing of the Taylor Force Act, and a similar law in Israel’s Knesset passed by my friends MKs Elazar Stern and Avi Dichter in July 2018, the Palestinian leadership has spent over 1.2 billion shekels, or $350 million, continuing to reward terror.”

“Since the Palestinian Authority leaders have publicly attacked the passage of the Taylor Force Act, rejected its terms, and continue rewarding terrorists and their families, the appropriate next step in the US war on terror is to personally sanction those PA/PLO officials involved in this incentivizing of terror, as defined by the law. While there are many senior Palestinian officials involved in the “pay for slay” program, the institution and the person most responsible are the PA/PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs and its Director Qadri Abu Bakr.”

Rep. Lamborn, who also spoke about the issue on the Congress floor, calls for Palestinian Authority institutions and persons who fund or reward terror to be subject to the measures provided for in Executive Order 13224, which is the State Department’s list of designated terrorist entities and persons.

“Ending pay-for-slay payments is an initiative endorsed by multiple previous administrations, both Republican and Democrat, has received long-standing bipartisan support in Congress, and is an internationally endorsed stance,” Rep. Lamborn wrote to President Trump. “You have boldly stood up for Israel in ways past administrations lacked the courage to do. Designating the PA’s Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs and its director, Qadri Abu Bakr, as sponsors of terrorism will send the strongest of signals that the U.S. will is doing standing idly by as the Palestinian Authority pays terrorists and their families with American taxpayer dollars. This vile practice must end, and your administration has the courage and moral clarity to do it.”

“Rep. Lamborn has taken the next step after the Taylor Force Act and focused on the key Palestinian Authority bureaucrat who makes sure that the families of Jew-killers are amply rewarded for their crimes. Pres. Trump should follow this wise counsel and designate Qadri Abu Bakr a sponsor of terror,” said Daniel Pipes, President of the Middle East Forum.

“One of the great oversights in American foreign policy since the Palestinian Authority launched its terror intifada against civilians in 2000, has been to ignore the involvement of the PA leaders who directed the terror. The immunity from political consequences has been interpreted by the PA leaders as a green light to launch terror waves whenever they deem it politically expedient,” said Itamar Marcus, Director of Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), who were instrumental in identifying the PA terror salaries and supplying the relevant evidence. “As the PA leader responsible for paying salaries to terrorist prisoners, Qadri Abu Bakr is a fundamental component in the PA terror supporting infrastructure. PMW’s report on his involvement in terror financing is intended to enable the international community to treat him as they do all others involved in terror financing. If the United States will lead the way internationally by acting against the PA terror supporting leadership, it will send an important message to the international community and especially to the PA that no one involved in terror will have immunity.”