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Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Israeli officials tell me they have asked the Trump administration to amend a law that would essentially end aid for the Palestinian Authority's security forces, who have a cooperation program with Israel that many believe has provided stability to the West Bank.

Why it matters: The law is slated to go into effect Feb. 1, and with the government shutdown continuing with no immediate end in sight, a legislative fix is not expected to be enacted in time.

Background: The Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act (ATCA) would force foreign organizations to be subject to the jurisdiction of U.S. courts if they accept certain forms of assistance from the U.S. government. It was signed by Trump last October with the intention of ensuring the Palestinian Authority pays compensation to terror victims who won civil suits against the PLO in U.S. courts.

  • The Palestinian Authority says that accepting the conditions of the ATCA would open them up to billions of dollars in potential liabilities. For that reason, Palestine has asked the U.S. not to provide aid after the law goes into effect.
  • The law was pushed by right-wing nongovernmental organizations in Israel and Republican members of Congress. At the time it was signed, few in the Israeli government, Trump administration or Congress realized its potentially problematic consequences.

The big picture: The Trump administration has cut off almost all funding to the Palestinians, with the exception of security aid. The U.S. gives the Palestinian security forces $60 million every year for training and equipment, but no aid will be transferred this year if a solution is not found.

  • Israeli government coordinator for the West Bank Gen. Kamil Abu-Rukun raised his concerns with Lt. Gen. Eric Wendt, the U.S. security coordinator in Jerusalem.

Israeli officials tell me Prime Minister Netanyahu's aides and the Israeli ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer have reached out to the White House, State Department and members of Congress asking to find some kind of arrangement to ensure U.S. aid to the Palestinian security forces continues.

  • A senior Israeli official tells me that Israel and the U.S. government agree about the need to maintain the security assistance while respecting the claims of terror victims. The main obstacle at this point is the government shutdown preventing Congress from taking action.

The bottom line: An Israeli security official told me: "If the law doesn't change and no solution is found, it could be a deadly blow to the security coordination between Israel and the Palestinians. This will harm a top priority Israeli national security interest."

Go deeper

Democrats fail to change Senate rules to pass voting rights bill

Senate Majority Leader during a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democrats failed Wednesday night to change Senate filibuster rules to pass the voting rights bill, with Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) voting with Republicans.

The big picture: The failed effort came after Senate Republicans blocked the voting rights measure from coming to a final vote earlier Wednesday.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court rejects Trump's attempt to shield documents from Jan. 6 committee

Photo: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

The Supreme Court rejected on Wednesday night a bid by former President Trump to block the release of documents and records from his administration to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

Why it matters: Trump asked the Supreme Court to step in and block the release of the documents last month after a panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously denied his attempt to prevent the committee from obtaining the materials.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden says Russia likely to invade Ukraine

President Biden addressed the brewing conflict between Russia and Ukraine during a press briefing Wednesday, saying of Russian President Vladimir Putin, "my guess is he will move in."

Why it matters: U.S. officials have issued a series of warnings about Russia's threatening military buildup on the border with Ukraine, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying in Kyiv earlier Wednesday that Russia could invade "on very short notice."