(December 12, 2021, Washington, D.C.)
Last week, 13 senators led by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) introduced the Taylor Force Martyr Payment Prevention Act of 2021, allowing the Department of the Treasury to flag foreign banks that facilitate payments to terrorists or provide service to Hamas.Co-sponsored by Sens. Todd Young (R-Ind.); Kevin Cramer (R-ND); Marco Rubio (R-Fla.); Mike Braun (R-Ind.); Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.); Rick Scott (R-Fla.); Roger Marshall (R-Kan.); Ted Cruz (R-Tex.); Steve Daines (R-Mont.); Roy Blunt (R-Mo.); Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.); Lindsey Graham (R-SC), S. 3318 allows Treasury to designate foreign banks as “institutions of primary money laundering concern” and prohibit them from maintaining U.S. bank accounts if they do not comply with anti-terrorism financial regulations.
The bill is named for U.S. Army veteran Taylor Force who was murdered by Hamas in March 2016. The family of Force’s murderer received a stipend from the Palestinian Authority (PA) as a reward for the murders of Force and 10 others. In 2018, Congress passed the bipartisan Taylor Force Act, which substantially limits non-humanitarian U.S. aid to the PA until it ceases the “pay for slay” program.
EMET congratulates Sen. Cotton and his colleagues for the introduction of this bill and strongly supports its passage. Palestinian terrorists have killed at least 69 American citizens and none have been brought to justice.
In 2016, the year Force was killed, the PA disbursed $315 million – totaling 8% of their annual $4.4 billion budget – to families of “martyrs.” The State Department in May 2021 announced the allocation of $360 million to “the Palestinian people,” allowing the US taxpayer to fund terrorism.
Said EMET founder and president Sarah Stern, “The horrific practice of lavishly rewarding the
so-called ‘martyrs,’ Palestinian prisoners and their families for their atrocious acts of
terrorism must finally end. Both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority actively incentivize terrorism and glorify these heinous acts.”
The Taylor Force Act was passed in 2018, but as Stuart Force, Taylor’s father said, “The job is half done.”
International banks have been pivotal in rewarding terrorists and their families. This bill will be a useful tool in preventing these international banks from laundering money and giving them to terrorists. EMET profoundly applauds Sen. Cotton and 12 of his colleagues for introducing this critically important legislation. Our deepest gratitude, however, goes to Stuart and Robbi Force for taking their unbearable pain and turning it into something positive.”