by Itamar Marcus
In defiance of the United States, which is demanding that the Palestinian Authority completely stop financial rewards to families of terrorist “Martyrs” (Shahids), the PA is now raising the payments to the “Martyrs'” families.
These PA payments include lifetime monthly allowances to families of suicide bombers, and other murderers who were killed during or after committing their crimes.
Muhammad Sbeihat, the Secretary-General of the National Association of the Martyrs’ Families of Palestine, which is the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) entity dealing with the PA’s payments to “Martyrs'” families, explained last week:
“In the upcoming period the allowances of the Martyrs’ families will be linked to the cost of living index, which will cause an improvement in these allowances, if only slightly.”
[Al-Quds, April 4, 2017]
The fact that the PA is raising the amount of the allowances to ‘Martyrs’ families’ even slightly at this time is in direct defiance of the United States.
The Palestinian Media Watch exposed in 2011 that the Palestinian Authority pays salaries to imprisoned terrorists and allowances to families of terrorist Martyrs, and in 2016 exposed that the PA was lying when they claimed to have stopped payments to prisoners.
After years of international condemnation of the PA, the United States Congress recently proposed The Taylor Force Act to cut off financial all aid to the Palestinian Authority because of these payments to terrorists and their families. When Taylor Force, an American citizen, was murdered last year in Tel Aviv, American legislators were incensed to learn that the family members of the dead terrorist would be rewarded with lifetime payments, thus benefiting either directly or indirectly from American financial aid.
Similar legislation was proposed in the Israeli parliament last month, to deduct the equivalent amount that the PA pays to terrorists and their families from the tax revenues that Israel collects on the PA’s behalf.
The following are the payment amounts, mostly based on PA law signed by former Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in 2011:
1- Immediate (one-time) payment: 6,000 shekels
2- Monthly (life-time) payments: 1,400 shekels/monthly, plus additions
2A: Addition for spouse: 400 shekels
2B: Addition for each child: 200 shekels
2C: Addition for residents of Jerusalem: 300 shekels
2D: Addition for residents of Israel: 300 shekels
3 Monthly payments to families abroad: $350
3A: Addition for spouse: $100
3B: Addition for each child: $50
Total expenditure per year (2016 budget): 660,315,772 shekels ($180,839,067) [Official PA 2016 budget]
In 2016, more than 32,500 ‘Martyrs’ families’ received payments.
Raising the allowances at this time is a sign of the PA’s direct defiance of the US and other Western countries that fund the PA, many of whom have condemned the PA’s financial reward payments to terrorists and their families.
Note: Payments to ‘Martyrs’ families’ go to families of all Palestinian terrorists killed during the act of terror including suicide bombers, or in any combat with Israel, as well as families of those killed during riots, or disturbances, including non-combatants.
In addition, at the ceremony where Sbeihat spoke, laptops were distributed to children of Martyrs including the daughter of a terrorist who murdered 9.
The following is an excerpt from the article in the Palestinian daily, Al Quds:
“The National Association of the Martyrs’ Families of Palestine distributed laptops to the Martyrs’ (Shahids) sons and daughters in the [Tulkarem] district who successfully completed high school studies last year, and are currently in their first year of university studies.
“This was during a ceremony that was held under the auspices of Tulkarem District Governor Issam Abu Bakr, who provided considerable financial aid to fund the computers…
“The Secretary-General of the [National] Association [of the Martyrs’ Families of Palestine Muhammad Sbeihat] mentioned the issue of stopping the allowances (mukhassasat) of many of the civilian Martyrs’ families (i.e., a few dozen families stopped receiving payments in February 2017, Ma’an [independent Palestinian news agency]), and of some of the Martyrs’ wives who married the Martyrs’ brothers. He emphasized that the issue has been raised to [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas, and that the Association and the [PLO] Families of the Martyrs and Wounded Institution are investing intensive efforts to deal with the issue as quickly as possible. He emphasized that Abbas and [PA] Prime Minister Dr. Rami Hamdallah are following the issue with the relevant parties, and expressed optimism about its resolution in a few days.
“He emphasized that in the upcoming period the allowances of the Martyrs’ families will be linked to the cost of living index, which will cause an improvement in these allowances, if only slightly. He emphasized that the Association will continue its efforts and demands to improve the allowances of the Martyrs’ families, and deal with the issue of the allowances of the families of the Martyrs of the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip in 2014 (i.e., 2014 Gaza War)…
“At the end of the ceremony, the computers were distributed to Ahmed Ali Ja’ar (PMW was unable to find additional information -Ed.), Badour Ibrahim Al-Ajami (PMW was unable to find additional information -Ed.), Bisan Fawaz Badran (i.e., daughter of terrorist Fawaz Badran) [and additional children of Martyrs].”
[Al-Quds, April 4, 2017]
Fawaz Badran, a 27-year-old terrorist and top official in the Hamas Izz A-Din Al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas’ military wing), according to Israeli sources was responsible for the planning of two terrorist attacks in Netanya in which 9 people were murdered, and dozens injured. On July 13, 2001, Badran was killed in a car explosion. Hamas blamed Israel for the car bombing, but Israel denied responsibility. PMW has been unable to confirm which attacks he was responsible for.