Hundreds of millions of foreign aid dollars to the Palestinians are used by their government to finance and promote terrorism.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) has significantly increased its spending on salaries to terrorists serving time in Israeli prisons and to families of terrorist “martyrs” – those killed while committing acts of terror against Israel. These payments consume half of the foreign aid received by the PA.
According to the PA’s own budget, salaries to incarcerated and released terrorists will amount to 552 million shekels ($153.4 million) in 2017, a 13 percent rise over the 2016 proposed budget and 11 percent more than actual expenditures in 2016.
The money will be transferred to the Palestinian National Fund, the financial arm of the PLO, which was designated by Israel as a terror organization due to its involvement in paying terrorist salaries.
Altogether, the expenditures for supporting terror in the 2017 PA budget are 1.24 billion shekels ($344 million).
A report by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs shows that this sum constitutes 7 percent of the total budget, similar to the last several years, but amounts to 49.6 percent of foreign aid received by the PA due to the diminishing amount of external aid expected in 2017.
As in previous years, the budget includes funding for benefits for the families of those killed and wounded committing terrorist crimes, and for the families of arrested terrorists.
Around 500 “martyr” families will receive a “hajj” (pilgrimage) to Mecca as part of the Saudi gift given to the PA. As in the 2016 budget, the 2017 budget reveals that out of the more than 20,000 families who receive monthly payments, which are referred to as salaries, there are 375 families that get special assistance.
Welfare or Terror Incentives?
While the PA claims that these financial incentives for terrorism are “welfare payments,” real welfare subsidies are in fact part of a separate budget.
The budget for real welfare support is 762 million shekels ($211.6 million) in 2017, and the total budget for welfare (including administrative expenditures) is 826 million shekels ($229.4 million). It is used for paying 118,000 families under the poverty line 750 -1800 shekels ($208 – $500) per month, exempting 80,000 poor children from tuition and textbook fees, providing 5,000 families with special financial assistance, providing 120,000 families with medical insurance, and supplying food to 217,000 persons who do not have food security.
Clearly, the amount of welfare support per family under the poverty line is much smaller than salaries provided to terrorists and their families.
“These details are especially problematic as Palestinian terror continues,” noted IDF Brig. Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, who authored the report.
“These new figures reflect the ongoing commitment of the Palestinians to paying terrorists and terrorists’ families, in spite of international objections and American/Israeli insistence that these payments be halted,” Kuperwasser underscored. “This commitment manifests the Palestinian view promulgated by Palestinian law that refers to the terrorists as the ‘fighting sector’ of the Palestinian society. This ongoing pattern stands in sharp contrast to the Palestinian commitments in the Oslo Accords and to international law and conventions. It also reflects the fact that until now, no real pressure has been put on the Palestinians to stop the payments,” he added.
In the US, proposed legislation that calls for cutting US economic aid to the PA, known as the “Taylor Force Act,” has not yet been approved by Congress.
In Israel, the proposed law which would deduct the money the PA spends on supporting terror from the money Israel transfers to the PA (Palestinian taxes collected by Israel) is still under review by the Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee of the Knesset, after approval in a preliminary reading.
By: United with Israel Staff
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