In recent diplomatic contacts between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the United States, the Americans demanded the PA stop its financial support for terrorist prisoners, released terrorist prisoners and the families of shaheeds. In 2016 the PA allotted them 1,152 million shekels (more than $327 million), 6.9% from the PA budget and 29.6% from foreign aid. The payments, which are anchored in PA law, were also given to Hamas terrorist operatives and terrorists who carried out attacks after the Oslo Accords, and are an example of overt support for terrorism.

On June 13, 2017, Rex Tillerson, the American secretary of state, told a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing that the Palestinian leadership had “changed that policy and their intent is to cease the payments to the families of those who have committed murder or violence against others.” He added that the United States had been “very clear” that paying terrorists was unacceptable. According to a state department report, the PA had made the decision following meetings between Donald Trump and Mahmoud Abbas in the United States (May 3-6, 2017) and in Bethlehem (May 23, 2017) (website of the American state department, June 16, 2017). The issue of the payments made by the PA was raised again by Jason Greenblatt, special envoy for international negotiations, and Jared Kushner, senior advisor to Donald Trump, when they met with Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on June 21, 2017. At the meeting in Ramallah Mahmoud Abbas rejected the demand to stop the payments, claiming it was an internal Palestinian matter which had a societal aspect.

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