Photo Credit: Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90
A rally in support of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, September 27, 2020.

The Palestinian Authority is debating the possibility of declaring bankruptcy because of the difficult financial situation it has found itself in, Reshet Bet Radio reported Wednesday morning. The meaning of such a decision could be the complete closure of government in Ramallah, resulting in the loss of stability in Judea and Samaria, or as the report put it, chaos.

The idea behind the establishment of the Palestinian Authority with the Oslo agreements was that it would undertake the fight against terrorism instead of the IDF, absolving the Rabin government of having to deal with B’Tselem and the High Court of Justice. In reality, the results have been uneven, to put it kindly. There were times when the PA security service was a great asset in helping the IDF locate and arrest terrorists, but the PA was also responsible for starting the second intifada in 2000 and supporting, even initiating waves of terror.


Part of the reason for the PA’s financial difficulties, in addition to its rampant corruption and the drop in support from the West and rich Arab countries, is Ramallah’s policy of transferring monthly payments to security prisoners behind bars in Israel and to their families and the families of deceased terrorists.

Those payments are anchored in the PA’s constitution. A PA Arab who was arrested or injured as a result of terrorist activity is entitled to a salary payment and an allowance to his family. Likewise, a family whose son was killed as a result of his terrorist activity is entitled to monthly support. The guiding rule in salary payments is that the more severe the punishment, the higher the salary. In other words, the more heinous the crime, the higher the pay. The terrorists behind bars receive a much higher salary than the average wage for a working man in the Palestinian Authority.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday told the Knesset foreign affairs and security committee: “We need the Palestinian Authority. We can’t let ןא collapse. We don’t want it to collapse either. We are ready to help ןא financially. We have an interest in the authority continuing to work. Wherever it manages to operate, it does the job for us. And we have no interest in its falling.”

Oren Solomon noted this week in Makor Rishon that the PA is engaged in a six-pronged war against Israel, questioning Netanyahu’s desire to see it survive bankruptcy. On the security level, the PA permits the current wave of terror in Judea and Samaria and even operates against Israel through proxies, while flooding the PA media with despicable and antisemitic propaganda; on the political level, the PA is advocating against Israel at the UN and a plethora of international organizations; on the judicial level, the PA is engaged in lawsuits against Israel at the International Criminal Court at the Hague, in violation of the Oslo accords; on the infrastructure level, the PA is creating facts on the ground by establishing villages and even cities in Area C which is under Israeli jurisdiction according to Oslo; on the awareness level, the PA is collaborating with the BDS organizations to undermine Israel’s economy; and on the internal level, the PA has been investing in turning Israeli Arabs into collaborators with the enemies of their country through numerous publications, events, rallies, and even violent incidents pitting Israeli citizens against their government.

With all this in mind, is Netanyahu going to order his finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich, whose entire agenda stands on eliminating the PA, to write support checks for Mahmoud Abbas et al?

The fact is Israel deducts a monthly average of NIS 40 million ($11 million) from the taxes and customs it collects on behalf of the PA to discount the payment of salaries to the terrorists and their families. All Minister Smotrich has to do to make things much better in Ramallah is to stop applying the official Israeli government policy.

Incidentally, one of the reasons cited for the PA’s failure to provide the same security cooperation with Israel as before is the mass resignations of its security personnel, who have been paid only 80% if not less of their salaries and are seeking employment in the private sector.

One of the biggest employers there is, naturally, Iran – through Hamas and other proxies.


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