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Rex Tillerson: Palestinian Authority ends policy of paying prisoners who attack Israelis

"It is outrageous and offensive that Secretary Tillerson would even suggest appointing a Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism is unnecessary, particularly given that his State Department committed to filling the post back in April", she told JTA.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday that the USA was in the midst of an "active discussion" with the Palestinian Authority on the issue of support for convicted terrorists, a significant change from a statement he made Tuesday on the same subject, in which he declared that the Palestinians have "changed their policy" of financially supporting families of convicted terrorists.

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".

The increase in aid to the Palestinians, who continue to sponsor and incite terror attacks on Israel, drew opposition from Democrats and Republicans who criticized Tillerson for seeking to increase this aid while cutting the overall State Department budget by more than 30 percent.

But Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and another senior official said that they have not seen "any indication" that the PA has stopped or intends to stop payments to terrorists and their families, expressing skepticism over Tillerson's declaration.

Israeli officials said they had seen no evidence that the Palestinian Authority was stopping support.

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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.

Читайте также: Bangladesh marks Eid al-Fitr

Halting the payments to families of assailants, or "martyrs", is one of the preconditions that Israel demands before it would agree to renew the peace talks with the Palestinians.

"We follow this closely", Lieberman told Israel's public radio on Wednesday. He says the Palestinians indicated they were changing the policy.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., a member of the Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, said the Senate has finally confronted Russian Federation.

Mr. Tillerson told members of the House committee on Wednesday that the administration needs flexibility to "turn up the heat when we need to, but also to insure that we have the ability to maintain a constructive dialogue".

The payments are technically carried out by the Palestine Liberation Organization - an umbrella group for Palestinian factions - after Abbas earlier transferred the responsibility away from the PA in an attempt to deflect criticism of the payment system.

At the same time, there are 6,500 Palestinians in Israeli jails, including 500 detained without charge, in some cases for years. The stabbing, shooting and vehicular attacks were a near-daily occurrence for several months, but have subsided recently.

When Trump met with Abbas in Washington on May 3, the White House said the USA president brought up the issue with the Palestinian leader.

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