(January 20, 2019 / Palestinian Media Watch) In its 2017 budget, the Palestinian Authority allocated NIS 550 million ($150 million) to pay salaries to terrorist prisoners and released terrorist prisoners.
The salaries paid to these recipients, among them murderers, ranged from NIS 1,400 ($378) per month to NIS 12,000 ($3,250) per month. The beneficiaries of these payments are no more than a few tens of thousands of Palestinians.
In contrast, the P.A. spent only NIS 605 million (nearly $165 million) to provide financial assistance to needy Palestinian families. According to the P.A. budget, the 118,000 needy families received payments ranging between 750 shekels (about $200) to 1,800 shekels (about $490) per quarter.
Of the NIS 605 million expenditure, NIS 515 million ($140 million) was funded by the international community (NIS 165 million, or $45 million, by the European Union and NIS 350 million, or $95 million, by the World Bank). As such, the P.A. contributed only 90 million shekels of the NIS 604 million expenditure.
In other words, while the P.A. spent NIS 550 million of its budget a year to incentivize and reward terrorists, it spends only NIS 90 million ($24 million) to support its residents in need. In comparison, the amount it spent on the needy equals only 16 percent of the amount the P.A. prefers to spend on rewards for terror and murder.
The P.A.’s policy and practice of paying financial rewards to terrorists prisoners, released prisoners and the families of so-called “martyrs,” including the families of suicide bombers, and the wounded have been the subject of widespread international condemnation. This policy, dubbed “pay to slay,” was also the subject of 2018 legislation in the United States, Israel and the Netherlands.
While the U.S. and Dutch legislation limits their countries’ annual aid to the Palestinian Authority, the Israeli legislation requires the Minister of Defense to compile an annual report of the P.A.’s payments in the previous year and then present the report to Israel’s Security cabinet.
Once the report is approved, the Israeli government will deduct the amount the P.A. spent to incentivize and reward terrorists from the taxes Israel collects and transfers to the P.A. The first such report should be submitted in the coming days.
Since its creation, the P.A. has wasted billions of shekels on its terror rewards, while abusing the goodwill of the international community to fund the humanitarian requirements of the its needy residents.