Israel denies Palestinian Authority has stopped paying terrorists' families, contradicting Tillerson

15 Juin, 2017, 03:31 | Author: Claudine Rigal

Cuba must end human rights violations if it wants the U.S. to continue normalising relations, secretary of state Rex Tillerson has warned.

"Despite necessary reductions from FY 2017 levels, we are still devoting $25.3 billion to foreign assistance, which accounts for over two-thirds of the State and USAID budget", he said at his first major budget hearing since he was nominated in February. "Their intent is to cease the payments to the family members of those who have committed murder or violence against others".

As an example, Tillerson said talks with Moscow on stabilizing war-ravaged Syria are progressing, but it's too early to tell if the discussions will bear fruit.

The Palestinian Authority has "not complied with their commitments under USA law, yet all potential sanctions were waived", Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R., Fla.) said during the hearing.

The Palestinian minister of prisoner affairs says the payments must continue.

"The president raised it", Tillerson continued.

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Tillerson also hit back at the notion that Trump's son in law, Jared Kushner, is running diplomatic efforts in parallel with the State Department, confusing U.S. allies. "As of this moment I have seen no cessation and no intention to stop paying the terrorists' families".

But Tillerson remained adamant when a USA lawmaker questioned him during another hearing Wednesday about his disputed claim.

Palestinian officials told Tillerson "they have to support widows and orphans".

As reported by Palestinian Media Watch, In April 2011, the Palestinian Authority Registry published a Government Resolution granting prisoners imprisoned in Israel for security and terror-related offenses a monthly salary from the PA.

Later on Monday, a senior official in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) confirmed that Secretary Tillerson was mistaken. It stepped up a campaign against the fund after a wave of Palestinian attacks began in September 2015.

Half an hour later, however, Tillerson repeated his message from Tuesday and said that assurances from the Palestinian leadership on this issue "were given to me during the President's visit to Bethlehem".

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