Despite an increased public outcry and international condemnation for the practice, the Palestinian Authority has allocated more than NIS 1.2 billion ($319 million) as “pay to slay” salaries for Arabs convicted of attacking Israeli Jews in 2018, according to a new report by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
The budget allocated funding to 5,000 families of convicts, pocket money to be used at prison commissaries for 6,000 convicts, stipends for 5,500 released convicts and financial grants for 1,500 convicts to be received upon their release.
Many of the convicts were found guilty of killing or the attempted of killing Israeli Jews.
A P.A. law from 2004 entitles any Palestinian prisoner—“anyone who is sitting in the occupation’s prisons for participating in the struggle against the occupation”—and his or her family to a variety of payments.
According to Israel’s Prison Service, there are a total of 5,600 Palestinian Authority Arabs in Israeli prisons.
Of the money set aside for terrorists, NIS 691 million was earmarked for the families of those killed while carrying out terror attacks against Israelis or while engaging in battles with Israeli security forces.
On Tuesday, Palestinian Media Watch, an NGO that reports incitement and anti-Israel propaganda in its media, criticized the United Nations and the Palestinian Authority for a recent $355 million appeal for humanitarian projects, given the publication of the P.A.’s budget for supporting terrorists.
“Instead of the U.N. asking donor countries to contribute $350 million to provide for Palestinian humanitarian needs, the U.N. should be joining the unequivocal call from many governments that the P.A. immediately stop squandering the $355 million dollars of its own funds on its ‘Pay for Slay’ policy that incentivizes and rewards terrorism, and instead spend that money on needy Palestinians,” PMW said.
In July, the Knesset passed a law that would allow the government to withhold funds Israel collects for the P.A. from the organization in the amount that the entity pays to the families of P.A. terrorists.
In March, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a law reducing American aid to the P.A. until the body stops financially rewarding terrorists and attackers who have been killed.
“We will not accept a cut or cancellation of salaries to the families of martyrs and prisoners, as some are trying to bring about,” P.A. head Mahmoud Abbas said in July. “Even if we have only one penny left, we will give it to the martyrs, the prisoners and their families.”