July 9, 2020

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Palestinians seething that ICC is looking at "pay for slay" as a possible war crime


From Israel Hayom:

Palestinian officials expressed “great concern” Thursday over a report by the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor that includes a warning that Palestinian stipends to attackers and their families could constitute a war crime.

Ramallah’s “pay-for-slay” policy has long been condemned by Israel and the US as a practice that encourages violence. The Palestinians argue these payments are a national duty to families affected by decades of violence.

The Palestinian Authority routinely spends hundreds of millions of dollars on payments to terrorists imprisoned in Israel and to the families of terrorists killed while carrying out attacks against Israel.

In 2018, for example, Ramallah spent $135 million on salaries and other payments to terrorists. In 2017, terrorists’ stipends came to $358 million – 7% of the Palestinian Authority’s total budget for that year and about 20% of the foreign aid it receives. In 2016, the PA allocated $322 million to these payments.

Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister Riad Malki said the prosecutor’s office’s report was “based on misleading narratives of a political nature … rather than an objective and accurate description of the relevant facts.”

The actual report by the prosecutor, in the middle of seven pages of allegations against Israel, says:

In addition, the Office has also received allegations that: (i) Palestinian security and intelligence services in the West Bank have committed the crime against humanity of torture and related acts against civilians held in detention centres under their control; and (ii) the PA have encouraged and provided financial incentives for the commission of violence through their provision of payments to the families of Palestinians who were involved, in particular, in carrying out attacks against Israeli citizens, and under the circumstances, the payment of such stipends may give rise to Rome Statute crimes. These as well as any other alleged crimes that may occur in the future require further assessment.

Apparently the prosecutor is just listing things that have been submitted to her; she has not even begun an investigation.

It is interesting that the PA jumps to defend the idea of paying salaries to terrorists, and doesn’t even mention or deny the other charge of torture.

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