Mideast Daily News

U.S: Jerusalem Embassy Move, ‘Taylor Force Act’ Gain Momentum

By Charles Bybelezer | The Media Line

November 9, 2017

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A subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives held a hearing on the potential relocation of the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, ahead of a December deadline for President Donald Trump to decide whether to approve the process. A law passed by Congress in 1995 called for the mission to be moved to what Israel considers its capital—albeit, the city is not recognized as such by the international community—unless the president deems it detrimental to U.S. national security interests. Since then, sequential American leaders—Clinton, Bush II, and Obama—have every six months signed a waiver that was included in the law in order to postpone the move, citing the potential negative effects on the peace process. During the 2016 election campaign, Candidate Trump vowed to relocate the embassy to Jerusalem but has likewise delayed the initiative amid yet another push to jump-start Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. It comes as U.S. legislators are debating another controversial bill, known as the Taylor Force Act—named after an American who was killed in a terror attack in Tel Aviv—that would cut off financial aid to the Palestinian Authority if it continues to pay stipends to those jailed in Israel for security offenses as well as to the families of Palestinians killed in confrontations with Israeli forces. An initial reading of the bill slated for next Wednesday in the House Foreign Affairs Committee is expected to pass with broad bi-partisan support, paving the way for a full Congressional vote.

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