In its 2017 budget, the Palestinian Authority allocated 550 million shekels to pay salaries to terrorist prisoners and released terrorist prisoners. The salaries paid to these recipients, among them murderers, ranged from 1,400 shekels/month to 12,000 shekels/month. The beneficiaries of these payments are no more than a few tens of thousands of Palestinians.
In contrast, the PA spent only 605 million to provide financial assistance to needy Palestinian families. According to the PA budget, the 118,000 needy families received payments ranging between 750 to 1,800 shekels/quarter.
Of the 605 million shekel expenditure, 515 million shekels was funded by the international community (165 million shekels by the European Union, and 350 million shekels by the World Bank). As such, the PA contributed only 90 million shekels of the 604 million shekel expenditure.
In other words, while the PA spent 550 million shekels of its budget a year to incentivize and reward a few tens of thousands of terrorists, it spends only 90 million shekels to support its needy population. In comparison, the amount it spent on the needy equals only 16% of the amount the PA prefers to spend on rewards for terror and murder!
The PA’s policy and practice of paying financial rewards to terrorists prisoners, released prisoners, and the families of so-called “Martyrs” (including the families of suicide bombers) and wounded has been the subject of widespread international condemnation and was also the subject of 2018 legislation in the US, The Netherlands, and Israel.
While the US and Dutch legislation limits their countries’ annual aid to the PA, the Israeli legislation requires the Minister of Defense to compile an annual report of the PA’s payments in the previous year and then present the report to Israel’s Security cabinet. Once the report is approved, the Israeli Government will deduct the amount the PA spent to incentivize and reward terrorists from the taxes Israel collects and transfers to the PA. The first such report should be submitted in the coming days.
Since its creation, the PA has wasted billions of shekels on its terror rewards, while abusing the goodwill of the international community to fund the humanitarian requirements of the PA’s needy.
Will the impending Israeli deductions force the PA to reevaluate its priorities and stop rewarding terrorism? Not if the international community continues to step in and carry the burden of the PA’s needy, and let the PA continue to squander its own resources.