Rand Paul launches Senate bill to defund Palestinian Authority over ICC bid

(JNS.org) U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has introduced legislation calling on the U.S. government to defund the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). Credit: U.S. Senate.

The bill, titled "Defend Israel by Defunding Palestinian Foreign Aid Act of 2015," calls on an immediate halt on all funding to the PA until the PA withdraws its request to join the International Criminal Court (ICC)—a request that was approved by the U.N. on Wednesday, allowing the PA to join the court on April 1.

In addition to the PA’s efforts to join the ICC and intent to bring war crimes charges against Israel, other reasons to defund the PA are outlined in Paul's bill, including the fact that the PA last year entered into a unity government with Hamas, a recognized terrorist organization whose charter calls for Israel’s destruction and declares that ''there is no solution to the Palestinian question except by Jihad."

The bill also notes that the U.S. gives more than $400 million to the PA annually, despite the fact that Section 7041(i)(2) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 2015 limits “assistance to the Palestinian Authority if it seeks to join the International Criminal Court.”

"It is up to the new Republican-led Congress to move on its own so that the President does not once again circumvent clear funding restrictions. We are currently sending roughly $400 million of U.S. taxpayer dollars to the Palestinian Authority," Sen. Paul said about the bill. 

“Certainly groups that threaten Israel cannot be allies of the U.S. I will continue to do everything in my power to make sure this President and this Congress stop treating Israel's enemies as American allies,” he added.

Posted on January 8, 2015 .