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S. 2766 (113th): Palestinian and United Nations Anti-Terrorism Act of 2014

The text of the bill below is as of Jul 31, 2014 (Introduced).


II

113th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 2766

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

July 31, 2014

introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations

A BILL

To combat terrorism and promote reform in the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Palestinian and United Nations Anti-Terrorism Act of 2014 .

2.

Findings

Congress makes the following findings:

(1)

On April 23, 2014, representatives of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and Hamas, a designated terrorist organization, signed an agreement to form a government of national consensus.

(2)

On June 2, 2014, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced a unity government as a result of the April 23, 2014, agreement.

(3)

United States law requires that any Palestinian government that includes Hamas as a member, or over which Hamas exercises undue influence, only receive United States assistance if certain certifications are made to Congress.

(4)

The President has taken the position that the current Palestinian government does not include members of Hamas or is influenced by Hamas and has thus not made the certifications required under current law.

(5)

The leadership of the Palestinian Authority has failed to completely denounce and distance itself from Hamas’ campaign of terrorism against Israel.

(6)

President Abbas has refused to dissolve the power-sharing agreement with Hamas even as more than 2,300 rockets have targeted Israel since July 2, 2014.

(7)

President Abbas and other Palestinian Authority officials have failed to condemn Hamas’ extensive use of the Palestinian people as human shields.

(8)

The Israeli Defense Forces have gone to unprecedented lengths for a modern military to limit civilian casualties.

(9)

On July 23, 2014, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a one-sided resolution criticizing Israel’s ongoing military operations in Gaza.

(10)

The United Nations Human Rights Council has a long history of taking anti-Israel actions while ignoring the widespread and egregious human rights violations of many other countries, including some of its own members.

(11)

On July 16, 2014, officials of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) discovered 20 rockets in one of the organization’s schools in Gaza, before returning the weapons to local Palestinian officials rather than dismantling them.

(12)

On multiple occasions during the conflict in Gaza, Hamas has used the facilities and the areas surrounding UNRWA locations to store weapons, harbor their fighters, and conduct attacks.

3.

Declaration of policy

It shall be the policy of the United States—

(1)

to deny United States assistance to any entity or international organization that harbors or collaborates with Hamas, a designated terrorist organization, until Hamas agrees to recognize Israel, renounces violence, disarms, and accepts prior Israeli-Palestinian agreements;

(2)

to seek a negotiated settlement of this conflict only under the condition that Hamas and any United States-designated terrorist groups are required to entirely disarm; and

(3)

to continue to provide security assistance to the Government of Israel to assist its efforts to defend its territory and people from rockets, missiles, and other threats.

4.

Restrictions on aid to the Palestinian Authority

For purposes of section 620K of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 ( 22 U.S.C. 2378b ), any power-sharing government, including the current government, formed in connection with the agreement signed on April 23, 2014, between the Palestinian Liberation Organization and Hamas is considered a Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority.

5.

Reform of United Nations Human Rights Council

(a)

In general

Until the Secretary of State submits to the appropriate congressional committees a certification that the requirements described in subsection (b) have been satisfied—

(1)

the United States contribution to the regular budget of the United Nations shall be reduced by an amount equal to the percentage of such contribution that the Secretary determines would be allocated by the United Nations to support the United Nations Human Rights Council or any of its Special Procedures;

(2)

the Secretary shall not make a voluntary contribution to the United Nations Human Rights Council; and

(3)

the United States shall not run for a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council.

(b)

Certification

The annual certification referred to in subsection (a) is a certification made by the Secretary of State to Congress that the United Nations Human Rights Council’s agenda does not include a permanent item related to the State of Israel or the Palestinian territories.

(c)

Reversion of funds

Funds appropriated and available for a United States contribution to the United Nations but withheld from obligation and expenditure pursuant to this section shall immediately revert to the United States Treasury and the United States Government shall not consider them arrears to be repaid to any United Nations entity.

6.

United States contributions to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)

Section 301(c) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 ( 22 U.S.C. 2221(c) ) is amended to read as follows:

(c)

Palestine refugees; considerations and conditions for furnishing assistance

(1)

In general

No contributions by the United States to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) for programs in the West Bank and Gaza, a successor entity or any related entity, or to the regular budget of the United Nations for the support of UNRWA or a successor entity for programs in the West Bank and Gaza, may be provided until the Secretary certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that—

(A)

no official, employee, consultant, contractor, subcontractor, representative, or affiliate of UNRWA

(i)

is a member of Hamas or any United States-designated terrorist group; or

(ii)

has propagated, disseminated, or incited anti-Israel, or anti-Semitic rhetoric or propaganda;

(B)

no UNRWA school, hospital, clinic, other facility, or other infrastructure or resource is being used by Hamas or an affiliated group for operations, planning, training, recruitment, fundraising, indoctrination, communications, sanctuary, storage of weapons or other materials, or any other purposes;

(C)

UNRWA is subject to comprehensive financial audits by an internationally recognized third party independent auditing firm and has implemented an effective system of vetting and oversight to prevent the use, receipt, or diversion of any UNRWA resources by Hamas or any United States-designated terrorist group, or their members; and

(D)

no recipient of UNRWA funds or loans is a member of Hamas or any United States-designated terrorist group.

(2)

Appropriate congressional committees defined

In this subsection, the term appropriate congressional committees means—

(A)

the Committees on Foreign Relations, Appropriations, and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate; and

(B)

the Committees on Foreign Affairs, Appropriations, and Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives.

.

7.

Israeli security assistance

The equivalent amount of all United States contributions withheld from the Palestinian Authority, the United Nations Human Rights Council, and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East under this Act is authorized to be provided to—

(1)

the Government of Israel for the Iron Dome missile defense system and other missile defense programs; and

(2)

underground warfare training and technology and assistance to identify and deter tunneling from Palestinian-controlled territories into Israel.