The Senate recently passed legislation that blocks United States aid to the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority until Hamas renounces violence, recognizes Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, and accepts all previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements. The Senate bill is similar to a bill passed in the House of Representatives last month, but would give the president more authority over the use sanctions, and is not as restrictive in cutting funding from NGOs working inside the West Bank and Gaza. The bill, introduced by Senators Mitch McConnell R-Ky. and Joseph Biden, D-Del., allows humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians to continue while aiming its restrictions at the Hamas government.
The Senate bill, like the House version, would deny visas to Hamas officials in the Palestinian Authority, as well as put travel restrictions on Palestinian Authority officials at the United Nations. The bill also bars the PA from opening an office in the United States. It limits aid to Palestinian NGOs, but goes further than the House bill in making exceptions for basic needs such as food, water, health, medicine, sanitation and education. The bill passed the Senate with an amendment by Unanimous Consent.
To read the full text of S. 2370, the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act, click here.