Palestinians, Israelis contest Tillerson on “martyrs’ fund”

Palestinians, Israelis contest Tillerson on “martyrs’ fund”

Speaking before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Tillerson said in reply to a question from Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), that this discussion was an important part of a larger dialogue between the Trump administration and the Palestinian authority on terrorism and the peace process.

Trump signed a six-month waiver of a congressional requirement earlier this month compelling the embassy move.

Asked if China had lived up to its pledges to crack down on the North, Tillerson said its actions had been “uneven”, but added: “They have taken steps, visible steps that we can confirm”.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday that the US would support efforts by Russian Federation and Ukraine to resolve a yearslong conflict outside of an internationally backed agreement signed by both countries, the implementation of which has always been a USA condition for lifting sanctions against Moscow.

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US President Donald Trump has vowed to seek to revive peace talks, and has urged Israel to limit settlement building on Palestinian land, but many differences remain.

The Senate has overwhelmingly passed a bill to impose new sanctions on Russian Federation and to make sure the Trump administration doesn’t change course without congressional buy in.

“They could perhaps be labeled differently”, he said, suggesting the description “martyr” could be dropped. “Their intent is to cease the payments of to the family members of those who have committed murder or violence against others”.

He said that during his visit to Bethlehem, the Palestinians had told him they have to support “widows and orphans”. “I would advise everybody to be very suspicious of any such promise coming from thee Palestinians”. “That doesn’t mean by any means it’s being done without the coordination with the State Department”. The fund for families of several thousand Palestinians held for alleged anti-Israeli activities, from stone-throwing to shooting attacks and bombings, had a 2016 budget of $125 million, according to the website of the Palestinian Authority’s Finance Ministry.

Lawmakers further pressed Tillerson to address concerns that global inspectors affiliated with the worldwide Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, have been unable to certify that Iran has ceased all nuclear weapons work. The envoy trains State Department officials to identify and fight anti-Semitism while posted overseas, a position previously described by the Anti-Defamation League’s CEO Jonathan Greenblatt as the “strongest possible signal to our allies and to the world that fighting anti-Semitism is a fixture of American foreign policy”.

He said it could certainly be a strategy to telegraph to the rest of the world that they needed to make their own plans, need to form their own alliances and just simply cannot “rely” on the US.