(July 31, 2018 / JNS) Reps. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) and Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) are urging the Treasury Department to use Executive Order 13224 to blacklist a top Palestinian official Issa Karake, head of the PLO’s commission of prisoners, who responsible for facilitating the payments to terrorists or their families.
According to Zeldin and Lamborn, Karake is directly responsible for the department that facilitates financial remuneration and other support for Palestinian terrorists imprisoned in Israel and the families of dead terrorists. He has authorized the payments of tiered salaries to imprisoned Palestinian terrorists on behalf of Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other organized terror groups.
Designating Karake under Executive Order 13224 would represent a key step towards implementing the Taylor Force Act, the congressmen contend.
The Taylor Force Act—named for a 28-year-old former U.S. serviceman murdered in March 2016 while visiting Israel—cuts off U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority over its payments to convicted terrorists and their families in a practice dubbed “pay to slay.” Israel passed similar legislation to withhold tax transfers to the P.A. in early July.
EO 13224 provides the U.S. government with the means to disrupt the financial support network for terrorists and terrorist organizations by authorizing the government to designate and block the assets of foreign individuals and entities that commit, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism.
“Taylor Force was a U.S. Army veteran and graduate of West Point, a very promising young man who was brutally murdered by a Palestinian terrorist,” said Zeldin. “The Palestinian Authority incites this type of violence and financially rewards the families of these terrorists, just like the one who murdered Taylor. It is our responsibility to protect our nation’s citizens at home and abroad and hold those who encourage and incite the murder of innocent Americans accountable for their crimes.”
The Israeli-American Coalition for Action, a key supporter of the Taylor Force Act, praised the congressmen for their letter urging the Treasury Department to blacklist Karake.
“It is critical that our policymakers take action to ensure that this important law is enforced. We were proud to play a major role in rallying the Jewish, pro-Israel and legislative communities around the Taylor Force Act’s passage, and we will continue leading the charge to implement this law, working alongside leaders like Reps. Zeldin and Lamborn,” said IAC for Action chairman Shawn Evenhaim.