50d3271b241791016a0f6a706700553bRepublican Sen. Rand Paul introduced a bill on Wednesday that would immediately halt U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority until it withdraws its bid to join the International Criminal Court to pursue war-crimes charges against Israel. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ recent turn to the international court at The Hague marked a major policy shift and transformed his relations with Israel from strained to openly hostile. The Palestinians want to pressure Israel into withdrawing from the territories and agreeing to Palestinian statehood. U.S. law currently says that any Palestinian case against Israel at the court would trigger an immediate end to U.S. aid, but that Palestinian membership in the court, by itself, would not. The Kentucky senator’s bill would ban assistance until the Palestinian Authority withdraws its request to join the court. “We are currently sending roughly $400 million of U.S. taxpayer dollars to the Palestinian Authority,” Paul said. “Certainly, groups that threaten Israel cannot be allies of the U.S. I will continue to do everything in my power to make sure this president and this Congress stop treating Israel’s enemies as American allies.” More