Welfare: aid in the form of money or necessities for those in need.
The Palestinian Authority’s current “Pay for Slay” program to reward Palestinian terrorists for murdering Jews can be traced back as far as 1964, when Nobel Prize-winning terrorist Yasser Arafat first initiated the idea:
|Arafat. Photo by Remy Steinegger –
originally posted to Flickr as Yasser Arafat –
World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2001
Back then, a main goal was consolidating the power and influence of the PLO.
But it has continued and developed over time, but never intended to actually helping Arabs in need.
In an opinion piece for The New York Times, Matthew Levitt noted that during its iteration as the “Fund for Families of Martyrs and the Injured” the program was still not a part of any real welfare system:
According to the World Bank, “the program is clearly not targeted to the poorest households. While some assistance should be directed to this population, the level of resources devoted to the Fund for Martyrs and the Injured does not seem justified from a welfare or fiscal perspective.”
Matters have not gotten any better.
Eli Lake wrote last year that finally, the Palestinian reward system is getting attention:
For years the Israelis and the Americans didn’t do much on this issue. The Israel Defense Forces work closely with Palestinian security services to keep the peace in the West Bank. Meanwhile, the Bush and Obama administrations have pressed both sides to restart negotiations over a final status.
This is starting to change. On Friday, Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, announced that he would begin withholding part of the tax revenue that Israel sends to the Palestinian Authority — equal to the amount paid to “martyrs.”
One aspect of the problem remains addressing this program for what it is.
Palestinian Media Watch has been a major source of information about this reward system and has been giving the impetus to various governments to recognize this practice for what it is and act accordingly.
In April 2011, the Palestinian Authority Registry published a Government Resolution granting all Palestinian prisoners imprisoned in Israel for security and terror-related offenses a monthly salary from the PA (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 15, 2011). This new resolution, called PA Government Resolution of 2010, numbers 21 and 23, formalized what has long been a PA practice.
The PA defined which Palestinians would be considered “prisoners”: “Anyone imprisoned in the occupation’s [Israel’s] prisons as a result of his participation in the struggle against the occupation” (Ch. 1 of Law of Prisoners, 2004/19, www.alasra.ps, accessed May 9, 2011)
According to the PA definition, more than 4,500 Palestinian prisoners (as of December 2012) serving time for terror-related offenses are recipients of PA salaries. This means that Palestinians convicted of crimes such as theft do not receive a salary, but Hamas and Fatah terrorist murderers do. [emphasis added]
That is one of the key points that is overlooked in confronting the continued Palestinian claim that the money is part of some humanitarian welfare fund. While the salary is targeted for criminals, it is intended for terrorists and their families alone.
This is not about a welfare system intended for the average family.
Another key point is that not only does this Palestinian law ignore the average needy family, the rewards it pays out to terrorists are as much as 5x what average Arab families are earning:
Watch the entire video:
A third proof that these are not welfare payments comes from the Palestinian Authority itself, as PMW notes:
These monthly payments to prisoners are paid from the PA’s general budget and income taxes are paid, as is the case with all other PA salaries (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 19, 2011). According to the language of the PA regulation as well as PA economic reports on government salaries, the monthly salaries to prisoners range from 1,400 shekels to 12,000 shekels. The PA economic report listed the prisoners’ salaries as part of the PA general salary budget, which includes civil servants, military personnel and others. (Life and the Market, supplement to Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 19, 2011). It was not listed as a social service payment. [emphasis added]
In fact, those stipends are still being described as “salaries” instead of “assistance”:
|Abbas calls terror stipends “salaries”, not “assistance. Credit: Palestinian Media Watch|
Thus far, Abbas has refused to stop paying the stipends — though whether it is because of his own stubbornness or because he dares not stop such a popular measure.
The responsibility rests upon the West to refuse to provide any funding to the Palestinian Authority that goes toward paying any salaries, as long as the money goes toward encouraging terrorism.
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