Home   »  Our Work  »  Focus Areas  »  Challenging U.S. Policy  »  Congressional Advocacy  »  Congressional Report Cards  »  Report Card for the 107th Congress ...  »  Bills from 107th Congress

H.R. 4693 - Arafat Accountability Act

May 9th, 2002

HR 4693 IH

107th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4693

To hold accountable the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

MAY 9, 2002

Mr. BLUNT (for himself, Mr. ACKERMAN, Mr. GILMAN, and Mr. MENENDEZ) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on International Relations


A BILL

To hold accountable the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Arafat Accountability Act'.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress makes the following findings:

      (1) The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), under the leadership of Chairman Yasser Arafat, has failed to abide by its promises, enumerated in the Oslo Accords, to commit itself to `a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the two sides', that `all outstanding issues relating to permanent status will be resolved through negotiations', and that the PLO `renounces the use of terrorism and other acts of violence and will assume responsibility over all PLO elements and personnel in order to assure their compliance, prevent violence, and discipline violators'.

      (2) Yasser Arafat failed to exercise his authority and responsibility to maintain law and order in the West Bank and Gaza, which has resulted in ongoing acts of terrorism against Israeli and American civilians in the State of Israel.

      (3) Yasser Arafat has failed, through words and deeds, to offer credible security guarantees to the Palestinian and Israeli peoples, and has once again violated his commitment to peace through the recent purchase of 50 tons of offensive weaponry from Iran.

      (4) Yasser Arafat and the forces directly under his control are responsible for the murder of hundreds of innocent Israelis and the wounding of thousands more since October 2000.

      (5) Yasser Arafat has been directly implicated in funding and supporting terrorists who have claimed responsibility for homicide bombings in Israel.

      (6) Under the present circumstances, Yasser Arafat's failure to adequately respond to end the homicide bombings further complicates the prospects for a resolution of the conflict in that region.

SEC. 3. STATEMENT OF CONGRESS.

    (a) SENSE OF CONGRESS- It is the sense of the Congress that--

      (1) the United States should continue to urge an immediate and unconditional cessation of all terrorist activities and the commencement of a cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians;

      (2) the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority should immediately surrender to Israel for detention and prosecution those Palestinian extremists wanted by the Government of Israel for the assassination of Israeli Minister of Tourism Rehavam Zeevi; and

      (3) PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization must take immediate and concrete action to--

        (A) publicly condemn all acts of terrorism, including and especially homicide bombings, which murdered over 125 Israeli men, women, and children during the month of March 2002 alone, and injured hundreds more;

        (B) confiscate and destroy the infrastructures of terrorism, including weapons, bomb factories, and other offensive materials;

        (C) end all financial support for terrorism; and

        (D) urge all Arab nations and individuals to immediately cease funding for terrorist operations and payments to the families of terrorists.

    (b) SUPPORT FOR PEACE EFFORTS- The Congress supports the President's efforts, in conjunction with Israel, the Arab states, and members of the international community, to achieve a comprehensive peace in the region, and encourages continued efforts by all parties.

SEC. 4. IMPOSITION OF SANCTIONS.

    (a) DENIAL OF VISAS-

      (1) PROHIBITION- The Secretary of State shall not issue a visa to, and the Attorney General shall not admit to the United States, any member of the Palestine Liberation Organization or any official from the Palestinian Authority.

      (2) WAIVER- The President may, on a case-by-case basis, waive paragraph (1) if the President determines that the waiver is in the national security interest of the United States. The President shall report any such determination to the appropriate congressional committees.

    (b) DOWNGRADING OF STATUS OF PLO OFFICE IN THE UNITED STATES- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the President shall withdraw or terminate any waiver by the President of the requirements of section 1003 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1988 and 1989 (22 U.S.C. 5202) (prohibiting the establishment or maintenance of a Palestinian information office in the United States), except that--

      (1) such withdrawal or termination shall not prohibit the operation of the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine at the United Nations; and

      (2) such section shall apply so as to prohibit the operation of any office of the Palestine Liberation Organization or the Palestinian Authority in the United States from carrying out any function other than those functions carried out by the Palestinian information office during the period beginning on the effective date of title X of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1988 and 1989, and ending on January 13, 1994.

    (c) TRAVEL RESTRICTION ON THE SENIOR PLO REPRESENTATIVE AT THE UNITED NATIONS- The Secretary of State shall impose the same travel restrictions on the senior official of the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine at the United Nations as those imposed on officials with the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations.

    (d) FREEZING OF ASSETS OF THE PLO AND THE PA- The President shall identify and freeze the assets of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority in the United States, other than those assets which--

      (1) the President determines are required to carry out the functions of the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine at the United Nations;

      (2) are necessary for travel in the United States pursuant to a waiver granted under subsection (a)(2); or

      (3) the President determines are necessary for any office of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority to carry out functions permitted under subsection (b)(2).

SEC. 5. REPORT ON PLO TERRORIST ACTIVITIES.

    (a) REPORT- Within 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act, and every 90 days thereafter, the President shall submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees detailing acts of terrorism, if any, committed by the Palestinian Authority, the Palestine Liberation Organization, or any of their constituent elements.

    (b) DETERMINATION REGARDING DESIGNATION AS TERRORIST ORGANIZATION- The report under subsection (a) shall include a determination on whether on the basis of acts of terrorism described in the report the Palestinian Authority, the Palestine Liberation Organization, or any of their constituent elements will be designated as a foreign terrorist organization under section 219(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189(a)).

    (c) WAIVER- The President may waive the requirements of this section if the President determines that the waiver is in the national security interest of the United States. The President shall report any such determination to the appropriate congressional committees.

SEC. 6. DURATION OF SANCTIONS.

    The sanctions imposed under this Act shall remain in effect until such time as the President determines and reports to the appropriate congressional committees that the conditions that warrant these sanctions no longer exist.

SEC. 7. APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES DEFINED.

    In this Act, the term `appropriate congressional committees' means the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives.

END