stopping terror payments

US says Palestinians stopping terror payments – IsraelAM 6-14-17

Terror Payments
In a hearing before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson revealed that the Trump administration has demanded that Mahmoud Abbas stop transferring payments to families of suicide bombers. He said that he had received a report that the Palestinians “have changed that policy and their intent is to cease the payments to the families of those who have committed murder or violence against others. We have been very clear with them that this is simply not acceptable to us.”

When the issue was raised by Republican Senator Jim Risch, Tillerson responded by saying that the issue “was discussed directly with President Abbas when he made his visit to Washington.” He added, “The president (Trump) raised it, and I had a bilateral meeting with (Abbas) later and I told him—you absolutely have to stop this.”

But a senior Israeli official said there was no evidence the PA had taken any steps to change its policy of funding terrorists and their families. “In Israel, we don’t see any change whatsoever in the Palestinians’ policies, as they continue to fund terrorists’ families. The Palestinian Authority continues to praise, incite, and support terrorist with payments.”

US lawmakers are considering legislation that would slash funding to the Palestinians as long as the payments continue.

On Sunday, Israeli ministers approved a bill that would cut tax transfers to Palestinians by the amount paid out to the terrorists. The Palestinians have paid out some NIS 4 billion — or $1.12 billion — over the past four years to terrorists and their families,

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Back to NZ
Israel will return its ambassador to New Zealand after a six month absence that came as a result of New Zealand co-sponsored a UN Security Council resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlement activity. In a letter to PM Netanyahu, New Zealand’s PM Bill English wrote, “I regret the damage done to Israel-New Zealand relations as a result of New Zealand proposing Resolution 2334 at the Security Council.”

Earlier this month Israel announced that it would return its ambassador to Senegal, which also co-sponsored the resolution. The other two co-sponsors, Venezuela and Malaysia, have no diplomatic relations with Israel. The UN resolution passed as a result of a US abstention (no veto) under the Obama administration.

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UN Report
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein published a report yesterday accusing both Israel and the Palestinians of failing to bring alleged perpetrators of war crimes to justice. There was no reaction from either party. Maybe this will bring Israel and the Palestinians closer together?

US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley gave formal notice last week that the Trump administration was reviewing its participation in the Human Rights Council and called for reforms to put Israel “on equal footing.” Israel is not a member of the council.

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Army vs National Service
Religious girls in Israel have traditionally chosen two years of National Service (Sherut Leumi) as an alternative to army service. The National Service would usually be performed primarily in special education schools, hospitals and social service roles.

But over the past few years the number of religious girls enlisting in the IDF has risen dramatically. In addition to army service, many girls now have the option of volunteering for their National Service in the Shin Bet, Mossad and government ministries. As a result, many of the traditional National Service positions have been left vacant. That’s a problem.

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Happy Birthday
Wishing a very happy birthday to my amazing wife and cofounder Natalie. May you enjoy a blessed year filled with health, happiness and success. If you’d like to make a donation to wish Natalie a happy birthday, click here :)