The Palestinian Authority (PA) paid over $358 million to terrorists and their families in 2017, Israeli media reports say. Israel's Defense Ministry on Tuesday called the Palestinian leadership to put an end to cash payments to terrorists after these revelations.
The Palestinian Authority (PA), run by the unelected ‘President’ Mahmoud Abbas, receives billions of dollars in aid from the U.S. and other Western countries each year. In 2016, the Obama administration gave around $712 million to the PA, more than any other country in the world.
Earlier this month, President Donald Trump threatened to cut future aid payments going to the Palestinians. The US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, also threatened a cut the financial aid to the PA if it fails to end “its decades-old scheme of compensating families of Palestinians convicted in Israel of murder and terrorism,” Israeli newspaper Jerusalem Post reported today.
Israeli broadcaster Arutz Sheva revealed the details of the elaborate Palestinian scheme set up to reward the terrorists and their families:
[Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman] said, "The Palestinian Authority pays over a billion shekels each year to terrorists and their families, encouraging and perpetuating terror. The moment these payments and their amounts are decided in accordance with the severity of the crime and the length of imprisonment - meaning, someone who murdered and received a life sentence will receive much more money - it constitutes funding terror attacks against Israeli citizens. There is nothing that demonstrates more the fact that the Palestinian Authority supports terror. We must put an end to this."
According to PA statistics, over 550 million NIS ($159,274,500) was paid to imprisoned and released terrorists, and the families of suicide and injured terrorists received approximately 687 million NIS ($198,948,330). These payments total 1.237 million shekels ($358 million), or about 7% of the PA's total annual budget.
PA statistics show the average terrorist sitting in jail for 3-5 years will receive 2,000 NIS ($579.18) per month, and a terrorist sentenced to 20-35 years in prison will receive 10,000 NIS ($2895.90) per month for the rest of his or her life.
Diplomatic outrage over terrorism financing isn’t going to force the Palestinian leadership to mend its ways. ‘President’ of the PA, Mahmoud Abbas, is himself a lifelong member of the terrorist Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and a former underling of the arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat. After a decade-long power struggle, Abbas’ PLO and Islamist terror outfit Hamas have recently signed a reconciliation deal. The pact entails massive transfer of funds from the PA to the Hamas operatives in Gaza. The patch-up between these two rival Arab terrorist groups is expected to lead to the intensification of the terror campaign against Israel.
With Islamic terrorism spreading its tentacles across the Western world, it makes no sense for the U.S. and Europe to transfer hundreds and million of dollars to PLO-Hamas duo each year. The sooner the West starts draining this swamp the better.