Bankrupt PA rejects Israeli support, no end to pay-for-slay

Preferring to make cash payments to terrorists and their families, PA refuses Israeli offer to rescue entity from the brink of collapse.

By World Israel News Staff

The embattled Palestinian Authority, which analysts and security officials fear is teetering on the brink of collapse, refused an offer from Israel to help shore up its power because the support mandated that the body stop paying salaries to terrorists and their families.

The PA has long maintained a “pay-for-slay” policy, which sees the entity pay out millions of dollars in stipends annually to Palestinians convicted of murdering Jews, along with their dependents.

These payments are often more than the average Palestinian earns in a month, and investigations have found that international aid from foreign countries and NGOs may be illicitly used for the salaries.

For years, PA President Mahmoud Abbas has refused to hold elections, cracked down on his opponents, including killing political critics, and engaged in security cooperation with Israel – all moves that are extremely unpopular among his constituents.

Multiple polls have found that the vast majority of Palestinians want Abbas to resign and believe that the PA is an irredeemably corrupt institution. Some surveys have found that they would prefer to be governed by the Hamas terror group.

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Following a recent Israeli counter-terror raid on Jenin, public anger against the PA has continued to mount. Due to its inability to effectively push back against the Israeli incursion into its territory, the PA has lost legitimacy in the eyes of many Palestinians.

Due to the potential for widespread instability in PA-controlled territory in Judea and Samaria should the institution collapse, Israeli cabinet officials recently voted to approve a number of measures that could strengthen the PA.

But one of the conditions for the support was a suspension of the pay-for-slay program, which was vehemently rejected by PA Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh.

“Abbas has expressed this position on more than one occasion,” Shtayyeh said in a media statement. Shtayyeh was pointing to a previous statement by Abbas, who pledged that even if the PA “only a penny left, we will give it to the martyrs [terrorists], the prisoners, and their families.”