While 39 countries gathered in Bahrain this week to discuss how to bring economic prosperity to the Palestinian Authority, the P.A., which is boycotting the Bahrain conference, continued to prioritize its “pay for slay” program.

As Israeli NGO Palestinian Media Watch has documented, P.A. leaders are backing the decision to continue payments to terrorists and their families, even if it comes at the expense of ordinary, law-abiding Palestinian citizens.

Recently, three P.A. top officials emphasized their support for imprisoned Palestinian murderers and terrorists. One of them is the head of the P.A. General Intelligence, Majed Faraj, who described murderers and terrorists who have killed or attempted to kill Israelis as “the most honorable, the best, and the most supreme among us.”

Faraj, who has been mentioned as one of Abbas’s possible successors, went on to say that the dead and imprisoned terrorists are second only to Allah.

The P.A. mufti, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, who was appointed by Abbas in 2006 and is the highest religious authority in the P.A., stated his support for the payment of salaries to Palestinian murderers and terrorists, explaining that the P.A. “prioritizes” them and that they come “before all.”

On the official P.A. TV program Religious Rulings, he said: “[The prisoners’] salaries and what is related to them—we support them completely. … We prioritize them over ourselves and say: The prisoners, the wounded and the martyrs, too, are before all.”

Abbas’s deputy in Fatah and Fatah Central Committee member Mahmoud al-Aloul also praised the imprisoned terrorists, calling them “a laurel wreath on the forehead of this homeland.”

Nan Jacques Zilberdik, PMW’s senior analyst, said: “It is unbelievable that in the run-up to the international gathering in Bahrain, the largest parley in recent times, which aims to secure funding for economic initiatives aimed at improving the lives of Palestinians, P.A. leaders continue to prioritize their ‘pay-for-slay’ program which rewards terrorists in Israeli jails and the families of dead terrorists with a monthly salary.

“One must ask whether the international community should step in and fund the P.A. without a change in the attitude of P.A. leaders and without the necessary financial transparency.”