As US President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken are doing all they can to renew US funding to the Palestinians, the Palestinian Authority and its Chairman Mahmoud Abbas are simply spitting Biden and Blinken in the eyes. One of the major obstacles impeding US aid to the Palestinians is the PA’s terror rewarding “Pay-for-Slay” policy. While the PA seems to be trying to convince the Biden administration that it has reformed, or even abandoned its pugnacious terror reward program, at home, in Arabic, PA TV is clarifying the message of Abbas to the Palestinian people: “Pay-for-Slay” will continue!
Since the beginning of June, PA TV has repeatedly – no less than 18 times! – broadcast Abbas’ speech in which he promises that even if the PA is left with only “one penny” in its coffers, he will pay that penny to the families of the dead terrorists, the terrorist prisoners, and the wounded terrorists.
Introducing the speech, the PA narrator presents Abbas as the one who “preserves the right of the Martyrs, the wounded, and the prisoners”:
PA TV Narrator: “Despite the blackmail, he defends the right of the Martyrs, the wounded, and the prisoners.”
Abbas: “A blessing is sent to our loyal Martyrs, our prisoners, and their families who are standing firm and bearing their suffering with patience. We say to them, to the families of the Martyrs, that we will defend their rights regardless of the price we’ll have to pay. I won’t submit to what Israel has requested. I won’t submit. Even if I’m left with one penny, I’ll pay it to the families of the Martyrs, to the prisoners, and to the wounded, and I won’t withhold this from them.”
[Official PA TV, June 4 (twice), 5 (twice), 6 (four times), 9 (twice), 11 (twice), 12, 15, 16 (twice), 18, 19, 2021]
Since its creation, the PA has been paying substantial financial rewards to terrorists. This policy, collectively known as the PA’s “Pay-for-Slay” policy has two main parts: 1) Payment of financial rewards to terrorist prisoners and released prisoners; 2) Payment of financial rewards to wounded terrorists and the families of dead terrorists (so-called “Martyrs”)
1. Palestinian terrorists who have been imprisoned by Israel are paid a monthly salary by the PA. The salary increases from 1,400 shekels ($432)/month to 12,000 shekels ($3,707)/month with time spent in prison. Released terrorists who spent up to five years in prison receive unemployment benefits for a period of time equal to the length of their sentences. Released terrorists who spent 5 – 10 years in prison are entitled to a position in the PA or a fixed salary. Released terrorists who spent over 10 years in prison are guaranteed a high-paying PA position, with the only condition being, that if they are actually called to work, they must show up. Both imprisoned terrorists and released terrorists are entitled to additional financial rewards, simply as a function of their involvement in terror and their incarceration. As Palestinian Media Watch has conclusively shown, these payments are not welfare payments.
The PA payments to the terrorist prisoners and released prisoners are codified in the 2004 PA Law of Prisoners and Released Prisoners and its implementing regulations.
2. Alongside the payments to the terrorist prisoners and released prisoners, the PA also pays monthly allowances to wounded terrorists and the families of dead terrorists. The payments to the families of the dead terrorists are paid at a set monthly rate, with additions in certain circumstances.
The payments to the wounded terrorists are calculated based on the degree of the injury as a percentage of the sum paid to the family of a dead terrorist – i.e. a wounded terrorist whose injury results in a 50% disability will receive 700 shekels ($216)/month.
Abbas’ words are not just bravado or empty rhetoric. In 2020, as Covid-19 ravaged the globe, the PA had to make a serious decision: Continue paying rewards to terrorists or purchase critical life-saving medical equipment and vaccines. Spending a cumulative sum of no less than 750 million shekels (600 million on the salaries of the terrorists prisoners and released prisoners and 150 million shekels paying the allowances to the wounded terrorists and families of the dead terrorists), the PA chose rewarding terrorists over saving the lives of the simple law abiding Palestinians.
The US Taylor Force Act (TFA) conditions the bulk of US aid to the Palestinians on the PA abolishing its “Pay-for-Slay” policy and revoking all the laws associated with the phenomena. PMW urges President Biden and Secretary Blinken not to allow themselves to be hoodwinked into misleading Congress and renewing the US aid to the PA, before the PA complies fully with TFA and other of the conditions for aid stipulated in US law.