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US Senate approves sanctions against Russian Federation over 2016 election

Palestinian officials say there are no plans to stop payments to families of Palestinians killed or wounded carrying out attacks against Israelis, contradicting comments by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.”Israel is unaware of any change in the policy of the Palestinians, who continue to make payments to the families of terrorists”, an official said, describing the payments a form of incitement to carry out violence. “So, it is-we’ve been very clear with them that this is simply not acceptable to us”.The US Senate’s bipartisan deal on new set of restrictive measures against Moscow might further worsen relations with Russia and hinder existing efforts on joint US-Russia progress to fight terrorism in Syria, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has warned.It was introduced amid an intense focus in the USA capital on relations with Russian Federation, and investigations by the Department of Justice and congressional committees of whether Russian Federation sought to influence the 2016 US elections to help elect Trump, and whether Trump associates colluded with Moscow as it sought to influence the election.Tillerson surprised Mideast observers Tuesday when he told Congress he’d discussed the “martyrs’ fund” with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and been informed the policy was changed.Tillerson was challenged by Rep. Ted Deutch (D., Fla.) to explain his Tuesday remarks claiming that the Palestinians had ceased their payments to terrorists.”They have changed their policy”, Tillerson said, referring to the Palestinians. “They are extremely complex in many regards”, he said.Citing alleged Russia’s “interference” in the 2016 presidential election in the United States, as well as the situations in Crimea and in Syria, the senators say they want new sanctions imposed on Moscow.Benjamin Netanyahu, right, and Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman delivering a statement to the press, January 10, 2017.”We follow this closely”, Lieberman said on Israel’s Public Radio on Wednesday.Tillerson added that Trump told the Palestinians he has a “certain window of patience” on this issue, and that if it takes too long, he will lose interest, which could adversely affect the level of American support for the Palestinian Authority. “As of this moment I have seen no cessation and no intention to stop paying the terrorists’ families”.”The PNA continues to praise, incite and encourage terror through financial support”, he said.About 6,500 Palestinians are now being jailed in Israeli prisons.Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered tepid support for the sanctions measure, telling the House Foreign Affairs Committee he agreed “with the sentiment” among lawmakers that Russian Federation must be held accountable for its meddling in the election.