PA incitement to terror is only the tip of the iceberg. Its funding of terrorists is the real generator of terror. This is how it’s done.
As the wave of terror and violence in Jerusalem continues, the Palestinian Authority (PA) persists in its incitement to violence in Jerusalem.
A closer look at the PA’s financial activity reveals that verbal incitement is only the tip of the iceberg. A significant segment of their budget is designated to the compensation, funding and support of terrorists, presenting a greater incentive and a much more significant form of incitement to terror.
Earlier this year, the PA announced that it will be giving an additional $46 million a year to released prisoners, which includes hundreds of murderers of civilians.
A report presented to the Israeli government on the subject reveals that this salary system is expensive and complex, funded in part by Western countries donating to the PA.
The PA gives generous monthly salaries and large release grants to incarcerated terrorists. These convicted murderers, 78 of whom have already been released from prison by Israel, are receiving monthly salaries of up to nearly $3,500, and grants of up to $25,000.
The report concludes that the PA is giving a strong financial incentive to terrorism, and that publicly rewarding convicted murderers gives an official stamp of approval to terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. It is a highly persuasive form of incitement to violence and terrorism and encourages further terrorist outrages.
Terror Incentives – It’s the Law!
These terrorist salaries are actually enshrined in PA law. “The Palestinian Prisoners’ Law” stipulates that every Palestinian inmate in an Israeli prison who is convicted of a terrorism-related offense receives a monthly salary from the beginning of his imprisonment. There are also a series of additional benefits offered to convicted terrorists upon their release. These salaries are calculated as a function of the number of years spent in prison. Which in effect means that the terrorists who carried out the most horrific attacks receive the highest salaries.
Upon imprisonment, serving prisoners receive 1400 NIS (approximately $400) per month. This base sum increases gradually, up to a maximum of 12,000 NIS (around $3,500) per month, based on the length of incarceration. In addition to that salary, the PA covers the living expenses of the prisoners’ families. Every released security prisoner who was in prison in Israel for at least one year is given a one-time grant upon release ranging from the sum of $1,500 for those who served between one and three years and up to $25,000 for prisoners of 30 years and more. Those who were in Israeli prisons for criminal offenses do not receive any grants.
It should be noted that the sums bestowed upon these terrorists are large, particularly in contrast to the average monthly salaries of Palestinian workers in the PA-controlled areas, which stands at $641, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
Income Guaranteed for Life
In addition to the salaries, terrorists are also given administrative grades in the PA civil service equivalent to military ranks, based on the number of years of incarceration. This means that upon release, terrorists are guaranteed income for the rest of their lives.
For example, those who served at least 25 years in prison are awarded the equivalent rank of Major-General in the Security Forces or of Deputy Minister in the PA, both of which earn monthly wages of nearly $4,000. Terrorists who were incarcerated between 15 and 25 years receive over $2,800 every month. Released prisoners are also given priority over other candidates for official positions. In addition, prisoners who spent 5-10 years in prison receive severance payments in case no vacancy is found for them.
Among those who currently receive the maximum compensation is the most veteran prisoner, Issa Abed Rabbo, who shot to death two young Hebrew University students hiking near Bethlehem in 1984. In addition to the grant and salary, the PA also offered to cover his wedding expenses.
Abu-Musa Atia, who used an axe to murder Isaac Rotenberg, a Holocaust survivor who had escaped from the Sobibor death camp, is also on the payroll. So is Yusef Hazaa, who murdered two Israeli teachers, one of them a 19-year-old volunteer. Sualha Husseini and Almajed Mahmed who carried out a stabbing attack on a crowded bus, killing 24-year-old Baruch Heizler and wounding three young women, receive monthly salaries from the PA for their heinous actions as well.
Hamas terrorist Ziyad Awad, who was released in the Shalit deal and arrested recently for the murderer of Baruch Mizrahi on Passover eve, received a salary from the Palestinian Authority during his first imprisonment; upon release, he received a freed terrorist’s salar, and will now be receiving funds as payment for his most recent crime.
The Palestinians relate to these payments as salaries, not as welfare or social aid. Qadura Fares, a former PA minister and current chairman of the Prisoners’ Club, stated on PA TV: “What is spent on the prisoners is exactly what is spent on me and you. These are salaries. Therefore, when the salaries are paid to those working in government offices and institutions, they will also be paid to the prisoners.”
Funding Terror: Your Tax Dollars at Work!
This expensive pay system is funded in part by Western donor countries.
The PA is highly dependent on foreign aid. International donations are primarily earmarked for the proper management of PA institutions and for promoting peaceful coexistence with Israel. However, in 2012 the PA paid out over $75 million to terrorists in Israeli prisons and $78 million to the families of deceased terrorists, including suicide bombers. Together, these amounts account for over 16 percent of the annual foreign donations and grants to the PA budget.
This figure reflects only official transfers by the Ministry of Prisoners. It does not include any additional transfers from other bodies, such as the Ministry for Welfare and PA official funds.
Some countries have already begun to reconsider their funding of the PA because of similar findings. Since 2011, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) has been reporting on the PA’s practice of rewarding terrorists and murderers with high salaries. As a result, the PA has been criticized internationally for paying these salaries. Recently, several members of US Congress proposed that the US either cancel its aid to the PA entirely until it ends this practice or that the US reduce its aid by an amount equaling the amount of money the PA spends on terrorist salaries. Norway and Britain have also demanded explanations regarding these payments.
Pouring Fuel on the Fires of Death and Destruction
Responding to the report, Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett recently posted on his Facebook page: “Did you murder Jews? Have you abducted children? Get up to 12,000 shekels a month from Abu Mazen!”
“Meet Abu Mazen’s ‘preferred employment’ track: murderers, terrorists and child abductors. We (Israel) have preferred status for gas station attendants; Abu Mazen gives it to those who pour fuel on the fires of death and destruction.”
“The system is simple,” Bennett explained. “With one hand, Abu Mazen ‘condemns’ terror, and with the other he hands out cash for terrorism, he encourages it.”
You Can Stop This!
The PA is funded by the US and the European Union. We MUST end this. Click here to sign our Petition demanding that the United States and European Union stop funding the Palestinian Authority.
Author: Max Gelber, United with Israel