The Palestinian Authority (PA) spent NIS 517.4 million ($150 m.) in stipends to terrorists and their families in 2019, a rise of NIS 5 million and a 3% increase compared to 2018, a report by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) shows.
The PA’s publicized financial documents show that the PA’s expenditure on allowances to wounded terrorists and the families of dead terrorists was at least NIS 151.6 million in 2019, and accordingly, the total minimum PA expenditure in 2019 on its payments to terrorists and families of dead terrorists, dubbed as its “Pay-for-Slay” policy, was NIS 669 million ($193.6 million).
Israeli law stipulates that it must deduct the sum the PA pays to terrorists from the tax funds it collects on behalf of the PA, and accordingly, the Israeli government must deduct MIS 669 million from the taxes Israel collects and transfer to the PA in 2020.
Since its creation in 1994, the PA has implemented a policy according to which it pays millions every year in monthly financial rewards to imprisoned, released, and wounded terrorists, and to the families of dead terrorists.
In 2018, Israel passed a law according to which at the end of each year, the Minister of Defense must submit a report to the Security Cabinet detailing the PA’s expenditure on terrorist salaries and allowances in the passing year. Once the Cabinet approves the report, the PA expenditure in the previous year is deducted in 12 equal parts from the taxes that Israel collects and transfers to the PA the following year.
The PA’s policy has been widely condemned, with Canada, the US, Australia, and Holland halting direct aid to the PA until the policy is abolished, but the PA has vowed to proceed with the policy it claims is a form of welfare.
However, the PA “continues to request and receive considerable amounts of foreign aid and carries on squandering hundreds of millions on terrorist salaries every year, incentivizing and rewarding Palestinian terrorists,” Maurice Hirsch, head of legal strategies at PMW who scrutinized the PA’s latest budgetary update, noted.
“While most of the world agrees that the PA practice of paying financial rewards to terrorist is despicable, the PA continues to waste ever growing amounts of fungible donor aid to fund this policy,” he added, demanding that the European Union and other countries “must make their aid conditional on the permanent abolishment of the policy.”
This news comes just days after President Donald Trump published his Deal of the Century peace plan, in which he explicitly demanded the halting of the financial compensation to terrorists.
During the presentation of the new peace plan on Tuesday at the White House, Trump said that “to ensure a successful Palestinian state, we are asking the Palestinians to meet the challenges of peaceful co-existence. This includes adopting basic laws enshrining human rights…ending the incitement of hatred against Israel – so important – and permanently halting the financial compensation to terrorists.”