Legislation seeks to establish reward under State Department program allowing for monetary reward for info leading to arrest of anyone who acts against US persons.
Lawmakers in both houses of Congress on Wednesday filed bills for the institutional of a reward for information leading to the capture of the killers of three Israeli teenagers.
The Senate bill, written by Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R), would require the Secretary of State to “offer rewards totaling up to $5,000,000 for information on the kidnapping and murder of Naftali Fraenkel, a dual United States-Israeli citizen.”
Fraenkel, together with Gil-Ad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah, was kidnapped and shot at a hitchhiking post in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc on June twelve. Jerusalem has blamed Hamas, identifying Hamas members Marwan Kawasmeh and Amar Abu-Isa as the perpetrators. Hamas has denied responsibility for the attack.
The FBI is reported to be involved in the investigation of the attack due to Fraenkel’s status as a US citizen.
Cruz’s bill would establish a reward under the State Department’s Rewards for Justice Program, under which allows for a monetary reward for anybody who provides information “that leads to the arrest or conviction of anyone who plans, commits, or attempts international terrorist acts against US persons or property.”
“The Israeli government’s recent action against Hamas is a just and appropriate mission to both bring the terrorists responsible to justice, and to degrade their capability to launch further attacks,” Cruz said in a statement applauding Jerusalem’s current anti-Hamas offensive in the Gaza Strip.
“No one doubts Israel’s ability to carry out this mission, but given Naftali’s citizenship, I believe the United States should demonstrate our clear support for Israel by offering a reward as we traditionally have in terrorist attacks involving Americans. This support should be understood in the context of our partnership with the nation of Israel in the fight against radical Islamic terrorism, which is our fight as well. I’m proud to work with Congressman Lamborn on this legislation.”
A bipartisan companion bill was filed in the House of Representatives by Congressmen Douglas Lamborn (R. Colorado) and Brad Sherman (D. California).
According to Lamborn, “the silence from the Obama Administration is truly appalling. Doing nothing in the face of such a heinous action is not an option. That’s why Senator Cruz and I are working on moving this solution forward in a bipartisan manner.”
The draft legislation “sends a message loud and clear to terrorists, generally, and Hamas, specifically, that there are consequences to murdering American citizens,” William Daroff, Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Director of the Washington Office of The Jewish Federations of North America, told the Post.
Yishai Fraenkel, Naftali’s paternal uncle, thanked Cruz, Lamborn and Sherman for their efforts, telling the Post that he hoped “we find them [the killers] very soon.”
“Things like this can be effective. I think we saw in the past where such bounties were helpful. This is parallel to very intense efforts done by the Israeli security forces,” he said.
via The Jerusalem Post