September 23, 2023

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Can a new US law pressure Jordan to extradite Hamas terrorist Ahlam Tamimi?

Ahlam Tamimi is the Hamas terrorist responsible for the murder of 15 including 7 children in a Sbarro pizza shop in Jerusalem who is now living a free – and even celebrity – life in Jordan.

The US has been trying to extradite her, and Jordan has refused, even though other wanted people have been extradited from Jordan to the US.

Now there may be another way to pressure Jordan.

From JNS:

Anyone who cares at all about the pursuit of justice just got an unexpected holiday gift last week. Congress just passed a huge omnibus spending bill, which was signed by the U.S. President Donald Trump on Dec. 20 and became the law of the land: Public Law 116-94.

Tucked into this bill by an anonymous member of Congress, without any fanfare, was HR 7055, which states: “None of these funds provided by this Act, may be used to provide assistance, (here there is a reiteration of the emergency exceptions), to the central government of a country which has notified the Department of State of its refusal to extradite to the United States any individual indicted for a criminal offense for which the maximum penalty is life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, or for killing a law enforcement officer.”

Jordan receives over $1.7 billion from the US every year. Jordan’s GDP is only $40 billion, meaning that US aid is a significant part of Jordan’s economy.

To be sure there are loopholes, as with any budget item.

(c) Waiver.—The Secretary of State may waive the restriction in subsection (a) on a case-by-case basis if the Secretary certifies to the Committees on Appropriations that such waiver is important to the national interest of the United States.

But it just so happens we have a Secretary of State who is not an Arabist, which has been rare over the past century. And we have a President who expects recipients of aid to cooperate with the US and not to act as if the aid is a blank check.

So there is reason for cautious optimism that, finally, justice can be served.

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