image U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., June 13, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein - RTS16WM2

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson: ‘The Palestinians changed their policy, will stop paying families of suicide bombers’

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson revealed in a hearing at the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, that the Palestinians had changed their policy and would stop making payments to families of suicide bombers. Tillerson noted that the Palestinian decision came following a demand by the Trump administration to immediately stop the payments, during Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s visit to Washington. Secretary Tillerson further declared during the hearing that payments to families of Palestinians that committed suicide bombings in Israel are unacceptable to the United States and to the American people.

The comments by the American top diplomat, however, were rejected by the Palestinian Authority, as its official in charge of prisoner affairs, Issa Qaraqa, declared the families of those killed during attacks against Israel, as well as Palestinian prisoners currently incarcerated in Israeli jails for committing acts of terror, will continue to receive their funding. The Palestinian official revealed that the reason there was an issue with the payments to both prisoners and families of killed terrorists, was because Israel decided to deduct the amount the Palestinian Authority pays them from the transfers of Palestinian tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Authority.