The Palestinians have abandoned their circuitous method of diverting foreign aid to compensate terrorists and their families, paying them directly to openly defy the US.
By: Ebin Sandler, World Israel News
In defiance of US lawmakers’ passage of the Taylor Force Act, which slashes most US aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) unless it stops paying salaries to terrorist prisoners and their families, the PA announced via its 2018 budget that it will continue to reward terrorists even more directly than in previous years.
While the PA previously used subterfuge to funnel payments to imprisoned terrorists and the families of those eliminated while committing their crimes, it now plans to make these payments directly using the PA Commission of Prisoners, thereby conforming to Israel’s criteria for designation as a terror organization.
In 2018, the PA is devoting 44% of anticipated foreign aid to rewarding terror, with close to 7.5% of the PA’s entire operational budget earmarked for salaries to terrorist prisoners, released terrorists, and families of killed or wounded terrorists. In total, the Palestinian government will shell out $355 million to reward terrorism in 2018.
According to a recent report by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) based on the released PA budget, “The families of ‘martyrs’ receiving these monthly payments include the families of all Palestinian suicide bombers and other terrorists killed while attacking and murdering Israelis and tourists. For example, the family of the terrorist Bashar Masalha who murdered American student Taylor Force receives this monthly payment.”
Palestinians eliminate the middle man
Diverging from its recent practice, the PA has stopped using an intermediary to pay terror salaries. This means that for the first time since 2014, the PA isn’t even bothering to hide its payment of terror salaries, brazenly including the budget for these salaries as a direct PA budget expense (“transfer payments”).
“In 2014, after Palestinian Media Watch showed the US Congress, the EU, and many European parliaments that the PA was using donor money to pay salaries to terrorist prisoners, the PA closed its Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs and lied to the international community, saying a new PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs was paying the salaries from non-PA sources,” reported PMW.
“PMW then exposed that the PA was actually transferring the money to the Palestinian National Fund (PNF) which then transferred the money to the PLO commission, which paid the terrorists,” explained PMW. “This proved that the salaries for terrorist prisoners were paid with PA money. This brought donor outrage, leading to the Taylor Force Act in the US and measures by other governments. However, now, the PA’s budget for 2018 has revealed that the PA has resumed paying the salaries to terrorists directly to the commission.”
The PA’s Ministry of Health, which serves the entire Palestinian population, has a budget of 1.787 billion shekels, while the PA uses 1.237 billion shekels to reward terror, benefiting only a fraction of the population.