An Israeli official spoke with Norwegian Ambassador Jon Hanssen-Bauer to express Israel’s appreciation with a decision by Norway to crack down when aid to the Palestinians would be used to finance terror by supporting convicted Palestinian terrorists and their families.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director General Dr. Dore Gold stated that Israel supports aid to the Palestinian Authority as long as it does not incentivize terrorism.
“It is outrageous that killing Israelis has become a source of income for many in the PA. This completely contradicts what peace is all about. These payments incentivize terrorism and must be stopped,” Gold said.
In May, PA head Mahmoud Abbas admitted to Norway that the PA is paying salaries to terrorists incarcerated in Israeli prisons, despite previous public assurances that such payments had ended. However, he claimed the payments were not made with Norwegian funds.
“In the meeting, I emphasized that this support program in which financial payments are increased the [longer] the prisoners serve time [in prison] is unacceptable and should be abolished. I emphasized that with the political and economic challenges that Palestinians now face, it is in their own best interest to abolish this program,” said Brende. “Abbas responded by repeating assurances that Norwegian funds are not going to finance the program.”
The PA continues to accept funds from Western countries while promising that the foreign aid will not be used to pay imprisoned terrorists, even though the payments have persisted.
Public outcry and governmental protest on the issue has recently increased.
According to the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, Norway gave the Palestinians about $77 million in foreign aid last year.
In May, the UK’s Daily Mail reported on how the Europeans are indirectly paying brutal Palestinian terrorists and, by doing so, are generating further attacks against Israelis.
Britain gives £72 million ($101 million) a year to the Palestinians, according to the report. “More than one-third of which goes straight to the PA,” which “openly admits supporting terrorists whom it hails as heroes for fighting illegal occupation, awarding lifetime payments that rise depending on time spent in jail and the seriousness of crimes.”
One example is Hamas “master bomber” Abdallah Barghouti, who was given 67 life sentences: he has received a total of £106,000 ($150,000). UK funds also pay out “salaries” to the families of suicide bombers, as well as to “teenagers involved in the latest upsurge of deadly attacks on Israel.”
In February, British Member of Parliament Joan Ryan penned a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron in which she stated that British taxpayers’ money cannot be used to provide a “blank cheque” to the PA, and that she demands accountability on where the funds go to through an independent review of the funding.
Ryan, Chair of Labour Friends of Israel, said she was “disturbed” that the PA was glorifying terrorists in its schools and that its official television station propagated anti-Semitism. Ryan said a cross-party inquiry could determine how the money was being put to use.
By: Max Gelber, United with Israel
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