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Ted Cruz Authors a Bill to Hold Palestinians Accountable

Palestinians in Gaza burning PA President Mahmoud Abbas' photo
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has co-authored a bill to force some accountability on the leadership of the Palestinian Authority. (Reuters photo)

Thursday, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) announced they have introduced new legislation that will hold the Palestinian leadership accountable for its efforts to delegitimize Israel at the United Nations.

The PLO Accountability Act, introduced in both the Senate and House of Representatives, lists a long train of violations of both U.S. law and the Palestinian Authority's obligations relating to the 1993 Oslo Accords. It also finds the Palestinian Liberation Organization has "failed to live up to its commitment to a bilateral peace process with Israel, renounce violence, accept Israel's right to exist, and honor previous diplomatic agreements ... and continues to circumvent a negotiated settlement with Israel by seeking unilateral statehood at the United Nations and from other countries, actively endorsing terror, and supporting [BDS] against Israel."

It seeks to close the PLO's office in Washington, D.C., and recommends President Donald Trump and his administration reinstate sanctions against the Palestinian government. The president would be able to waive the measure if he can certify that the Palestinians have:

  • not achieved a recognition of statehood,
  • withdrawn from the International Criminal Court,
  • withdrawn all complaints against Israel at the United Nations,
  • stopped providing financial rewards, salaries and benefits to terrorists or the family members of those who have died committing acts of terrorism,
  • ceased all patterns of incitement against the U.S. and Israel, and
  • "entered into a final negotiated peace agreement with, and have ceased hostilities against, Israel."

In a joint statement regarding their proposed legislation, Cruz and Ros-Lehtinen said:

"Yesterday at the White House, Abu Mazen engaged in his usual, deceptive, diplomatic double speak to cover up for the Palestinians' relentless and unrepentant hostility toward our close ally Israel. It was only three days ago as Israel celebrated its 69th Independence Day that the Palestinians supported another shameful UNESCO resolution against Israel that served as the latest example of their effort to delegitimize the Jewish State in international forums.

"The Palestinian leadership refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish State within any borders, engages in rampant incitement and glorification of terrorism, and continues the heinous practice of incentivizing more terrorism by providing hundreds of millions annually in salaries and benefits to terrorists and their families—including those who have murdered both Israeli and American citizens. The reward is tied to the length of the jail sentence so the more brutal the attack the higher the payment.

"It has been abundantly clear that the Palestinians have failed to live up to their obligations and commitments, yet the U.S. continues to reward them by providing assistance and allowing the PLO office in our nation's capital to remain open.

"The U.S. must send a strong message that there will be consequences for these actions by, among other things, closing down the PLO office in Washington, D.C., and utilizing the range of tools available under current U.S. law. It is long past time for the U.S. to hold the Palestinian leadership accountable for its intolerable behavior, and reiterate our steadfast support for Israel."

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