|Image Source: “The Palestinian Dream“|
Over at the Jerusalem Post this afternoon, there’s an important summary of information placed before the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee this afternoon [“Palestinian Authority paid terrorists nearly $350 million in 2017“, Lahav Harkov, January 9, 2018].
If you’re not already familiar with them, the data are simply eye-popping. In a society where the average income is about US$580 per month, the PA regime headed by Mahmoud Abbas gives that sort of money to anyone sentenced by the Israeli court system to three to five years in prison.
- A terrorist sentenced to 20 years or more in prison is paid five times the average salary. It starts to flow while he or she is still in prison. And it then keeps coming – for the rest of the recipient’s life. Does anyone think there might be some subtle message here about where the PA and Abbas are placing the emphasis in the vision they offer their citizens?
- Then the fine print: If the imprisoned terrorist holds Israeli citizenship (there were about 1.8 million such Arabs in 2017 according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, meaning they represent 20.8% of Israel’s total population), then they qualify for a US$145 bonus.
- The sum paid each month by the PA for what the article calls “the most severe crimes” exceeds US$2,900 which is larger than the average Israeli income (currently about US$2,700 per month according to the article and about US$2,955 according to another source).
- Being married gets a terrorist a further increment, and there are add-ons for each child parented by the convicted terrorist.
- There are also specific pay increases for (a) being married and (b) each child a terrorist parents.
- If and when the terrorist beneficiary of all this largess gets out of prison, the PA law entitles him or her to a prestigious civil service post in its government
The PA spent an estimated $300 million last year, roughly seven percent of its total budget, on these payments to more than 30,000 terrorists and their families. It does so at the direct expense of helping provide a better future for its own citizens, and despite its heavy dependence on foreign aid for income. Much of that aid comes from the United States – an average of $335 million annually over the last five years. The lion’s share, roughly $280 million per year in that span, is economic assistance to cover the PA’s significant debts, freeing up funds for their “pay-to-slay” system. The issue has not gone unnoticed by Congress. [“Passing the Taylor Force Act will mark a vital step in the War on Terror“, TheHill.com, November 15, 2017]
We also noticed. See “08-Jul-16: Violence, terror, cash and the PA Rewards for Terror Scheme: Congress takes a look“. And before that, we had posted dozens of reports and analyses [click here for more of them.)
“11-Jul-17: Incitement to terror: Sometimes it really is all about the money“) The House of Representatives passed the bill in December 2017. It’s now awaiting Senate approval.