Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) wrote to U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday calling on him to designate the Palestinian Authority's Commission of Prisoners' Affairs and its director Qadri Abu Bakr as sponsors of terror because of their direct involvement in the monthly payments to terrorists and their families.
"Unfortunately, the Palestinian leadership has continued to pay the terror rewards to terrorists, spending hundreds of millions of dollars every year to these monsters and their families," Lamborn wrote in his letter to the president. "Since the passing of the Taylor Force Act, and a similar law in Israel's Knesset passed by my friends MKs Elazar Stern and Avi Dichter in July 2018, the Palestinian leadership has spent over 1.2 billion shekels, or $350 million, continuing to reward terror."
The congressman noted that that P.A. has rejected the Taylor Force Act and continues to pay terrorist salaries, and that "the institution and the person most responsible are the PA/PLO Commission of Prisoners' Affairs and its director, Qadri Abu Bakr." As such, the P.A. should be subject to the measures provided for in Executive Order 13224, which is the State Department's list of designated terrorist entities and persons, said Lamborn.
Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum, which was involved in the initiative, commended the move.
"Rep. Lamborn has taken the next step after the Taylor Force Act and focused on the key Palestinian Authority bureaucrat who makes sure that the families of Jew-killers are amply rewarded for their crimes. President Trump should follow this wise counsel and designate Qadri Abu Bakr a sponsor of terror."
Itamar Marcus, director of Palestinian Media Watch, said one of the "great oversights" of U.S. foreign policy in the last 20 years has been ignoring the involvement of P.A. leaders in directing terrorism.
"Qadri Abu Bakr is a fundamental component in the P.A. terror-supporting infrastructure. PMW's report on his involvement in terror financing is intended to enable the international community to treat him as they do all others involved in terror financing," said Marcus. "If the United States will lead the way internationally by acting against the P.A. terror-supporting leadership, it will send an important message to the international community, and especially to the P.A., that no one involved in terror will have immunity."