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Tillerson: US committed to 'One China' policy, also Taiwan

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson prepares to testify on Capitol.

Ahead of the June 14 vote, the measure had been met with warnings of retaliation from Moscow, as well as pleas for patience from U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Qadare Fares, the head of the Palestinian Prisoners Club, an NGO that works with prisoners' families and organises payments, said he was not aware of any changes to the payments policy.

"Those that are mandated by statute, we will be back to talk with you about those as to whether we think it's good to have it structured that way or whether we really think we can be effective on those issues in a different way", Tillerson said at the hearing.

Asked whether this statement signaled USA acceptance of PA payments to the wives and children of Palestinian terrorists if these were not described as "martyr payments", a senior State Department official told The Algemeiner, "We have repeatedly raised our concerns about payments to prisoners and martyrs with the Palestinian Authority and President Abbas, and we understand that they arelooking at ways to address this issue".

At the same time, there are 6,500 Palestinians in Israeli jails, including 500 detained without charge, in some cases for years.

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"Those people, (prisoners) have sacrificed their lives for their people and the minimum we can do to them is taking care of their families", Karake said.

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The officials, including Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, said Wednesday that they have not seen a change in the P.A. policy.

"We follow this closely", Lieberman told Israel's public radio on Wednesday.

There was also confusion about whether Tillerson was assured that payments to the terrorists and their families and widows would be stopped or just to the terrorists.

US lawmakers were expected to question Tillerson about conflicting messages from the administration about foreign affairs and links between the administration and Russian Federation, including his own ties. He told senators that on his most recent trip to Bethlehem, the PA said the PLO would be revising their long-standing policy.

The comments by Mr. Tillerson, in testimony before the House Foreign Relations Committee, appeared to mark a departure from longstanding US policy and represents a potential break from other world powers, including Germany and France, who have supported the cease-fire and peace accords reached in Minsk, Belarus, in 2014 and 2015.

Later on Monday, a senior official in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) confirmed that Secretary Tillerson was mistaken.

Israel, which argues that such stipends promote violence, stepped up a campaign against the fund after a wave of Palestinian attacks began in September 2015.

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