WIN – Federal Court Denies Biden Administration’s Attempt to Dismiss AFL’s Lawsuit Against Federal Funding for Palestinian Terrorism

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Friday, February 2, America First Legal (AFL) secured a crucial win in its lawsuit to block the Biden Administration from supporting Palestinian terrorism.

In 2018, in honor of West Point graduate Taylor Force, who was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist on a Mediterranean boardwalk in Jaffa, Israel, President Trump signed the Taylor Force Act into law. Under the Act, U.S. economic assistance that directly benefits the Palestinian Authority (PA) is prohibited unless and until the Secretary of State certifies that the PA has ended what the Court termed “a sophisticated terror-support program of graduated bounties and support for terrorists known as ‘Pay to Slay.’” Under Pay to Slay, Palestinian terrorists and/or their families are paid bounties based on the number of casualties inflicted. The payments, which total hundreds of millions of dollars each year, are made to all Palestinian terrorists, including members of Hamas.

The Trump Administration immediately complied with the Taylor Force Act; it also terminated U.S. funding for the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) because UNRWA supports Palestinian terrorism. Upon taking power, the Biden Administration began pouring hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into the West Bank and Gaza. Turning a blind eye to Palestinian terrorism, laundering money through UNRWA and other conduits to directly benefit the PA. In April 2021, Senate Republicans, led by Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Tom Cotton, raised concerns that the Biden Administration intentionally circumvented the Taylor Force Act.

On December 20, 2022, AFL proudly filed a lawsuit to enforce the Taylor Force Act on behalf of Stuart and Robbi Force, Taylor Force’s parents; Sarri Singer, the survivor of a 2003 suicide bombing on a Jerusalem bus in 2003 that killed 17; and Congressman Ronny Jackson (TX-13). The Biden Administration moved to dismiss the case, arguing that they lacked standing because there was no connection between its money dump and Palestinian terrorism.

On October 11, 2023, AFL won a critical procedural victory after presenting the Court with internal Department of State documents demonstrating that the Biden Administration had concluded that there was a “high risk” that spending American taxpayer dollars in the West Bank and Gaza would benefit Hamas.

On February 2, 2024, the Court denied the government’s motion to dismiss, finding that the Biden Administration’s policies had increased the risk of Palestinian terrorism because there is a link “recognized by Congress — between funding that benefits the PA and the terrorism that PA supports.”

The Court also found that it was plausible that the Biden Administration circumvented the Taylor Force Act when it “‘began pouring tens of millions of dollars into the West Bank and Gaza through [non-governmental organizations]’ shortly after the PA ‘issued a decree taking operational control over all non-governmental organizations operating within its jurisdiction.’”

The Court recognized that October 7, 2023, “was the bloodiest day for Jews since the Holocaust. And the fighting ‘shows no sign of ending.’”

And it  found that “the October 7 attack may serve as additional evidence that Plaintiffs’ fear [of increased terrorism due to Biden’s decision to fund the West Bank and Gaza]-as expressed in their initial filings-was both legitimate and warranted by the circumstances existing at the time.” 


As a result of the Court’s ruling, the government must answer the Plaintiffs’ complaint and begin addressing, in detail, the evidence that the Biden Administration funneled approximately $1.5 billion U.S. taxpayer dollars into the West Bank and Gaza knowing full well that these funds were directly benefiting the PA and subsidizing Palestinian terrorism in violation of the Taylor Force Act and other U.S. laws.     

Statement from Congressman Ronny Jackson, TX-13:

“I have been proud to work with America First Legal, Stuart and Robbi Force, and Sarri Singer to hold the Biden administration accountable for not complying with the Taylor Force Act and continuing to knowingly fund Palestinian terrorism. I am thankful that the Court made the right decision to deny the Biden administration’s attempt to dismiss this critical case. How off is the moral compass of this administration if they can’t even follow the law to not fund terrorism with our taxpayer dollars? The recent atrocities happening in Israel, at the hands of some UNRWA employees, have further underscored Biden’s direct role in illegally funding terrorists who are actively seeking to bring harm to both Israel and the United States. The citizens of this country are angry about Biden and the radical terrorist sympathizers in his administration breaking our laws and not putting America first, and this decision puts us one step closer to holding the administration accountable for its illegal funding of terrorism with American taxpayer dollars.”

Statement from Robbie and Stuart Force: 

“This March 8 marks eight years since Taylor was brutally stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist smuggled into Israel. We were horrified to learn, as was everyone we have spoken to since, that the millions of taxpayer dollars sent to the Palestinian Authority offset payments to terrorists responsible for injuring and murdering innocent civilians, like Taylor. We also have learned that there is no confidence that any financial assistance sent to any government or organization in the region finds its way to those who need it.  

The Taylor Force Act became law due to the efforts of many individuals and organizations and the bipartisan support of Congress.  

It is truly sad that this lawsuit was necessary to stop the unlawful resumption of transfer of taxpayer dollars. We hope that eventually, mechanisms will be in place to ensure our generosity finds its way to those in need. Until that day, we ask the Biden Administration to honor the intent and purpose of the Taylor Force Act.”

Statement from Sarri Singer: 

“Today’s court decision underscores the critical need to uphold the Taylor Force Act and make the Biden Administration accountable for its actions. The ruling acknowledges the undeniable connection between the funding directed to the Palestinian Authority and the terrorism it supports. As someone who survived a 2003 suicide bombing in Jerusalem, I stand firm in seeking justice and preventing the misuse of taxpayer dollars to subsidize violence. We will continue to fight to enforce the Taylor Force Act and ensure that American funds are not knowingly channeled towards supporting terrorism.”

Statement from Reed D. Rubinstein, Senior Counselor and Director of Oversight and Investigations:

“We are gratified that the Court has denied the government’s motion to dismiss this case and affirmed that by pouring billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars into the West Bank and Gaza, the Biden Administration subsidizes terrorism. Our clients and AFL will continue fighting to enforce the Taylor Force Act and to hold the Biden Administration accountable for its illegal actions.“ said Reed D. Rubinstein: 

Read the court’s decision here.

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