by Maurice Hirsch, Adv., Palestinian Media Watch
In its 2017 budget, the Palestinian Authority allocated NIS 550 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/month to NIS 12,000/month.
The beneficiaries of these payments are no more than a few tens of thousands of Palestinian Authority Arabs.
In contrast, the PA spent only NIS 605 million to provide financial assistance to needy Palestinian Authority families. According to the PA budget, the 118,000 needy families received payments ranging between NIS 750 to 1,800/quarter.
Of the 605 million shekel expenditure, NIS 515 million was funded by the international community (NIS 165 million by the European Union, and NIS 350 million by the World Bank). As such, the PA contributed only NIS 90 million of the NIS 604 shekel expenditure.
In other words, while the PA spent NIS 550 million of its budget a year to incentivize and reward terrorists no more the a few tens of thousands of terrorists, it spends only NIS 90 million to support its needy population. In comparison, the amount it spent on the needy equals only 16 percent of the amount the PA prefers to spend on rewards for terror and murder!
The PA’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 wounded has been the subject of widespread international condemnation and was also the subject of 2018 legislation in the U.S., The Netherlands, and Israel.
While the U.S. and Dutch legislation limits their countries’ annual aid to the PA, the Israeli legislation requires the Minister of Defense to compile an annual report of the PA’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 PA spent to incentivize and reward terrorists from the taxes Israel collects and transfers to the PA. The first such report should be submitted in the coming days.
Since its creation, the PA has wasted billions of shekels on its terror rewards, while abusing the goodwill of the international community to fund the humanitarian requirements of the PA’s needy.
Will the impending Israeli deductions force the PA to reevaluate its priorities and stop rewarding terrorism?
Not if the international community continues to step in and carry the burden of the PA’s needy, and let the PA continue to squander its own resources.