In direct defiance of US requests to stop payments to families of terrorists, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is raising the stipends it pays to terrorists and their families.
Muhammad Sbeihat, the Secretary-General of the National Association of the Martyrs’ Families of Palestine, explained last week in Al Quds, a Palestinian news service based in Jerusalem, that the terrorists and their families will be receiving a cost-of-living increase.
“In the upcoming period the allowances of the Martyrs’ families will be linked to the cost of living index, which will cause an improvement in these allowances, if only slightly,” Sbeihat said.
This is in direct opposition to the recently proposed Taylor Force Act in Congress which demands cutting off all financial aid to the PA if it incites or supports terrorism. Force, a former US Army officer, was killed by a Palestinian terrorist in Tel Aviv in March 2016. Americans were angered when it was revealed that his killer’s family would be receiving payments for this act of terror. Senator Lindsey Graham (Republican, S. Carolina) reintroduced the bill last month that would require the State Department to cut off financial aid to the PA if it does not discontinue its program of paying terrorists.
“Can you imagine growing up in a country where your government will pay you for killing someone else through a terrorist act, and if you want to help your family, you can earn more dying than you can living?” Graham said in explanation. “We’re going to change this. We’re going to get the Palestinian Authority’s attention by withholding our money.”
The PA currently pays out over $180 million, seven percent of their annual budget, to more than 32,500 families. The average monthly salary of an imprisoned terrorist is five times the average monthly salary in the PA.
Inspired by the Taylor Force Act, Israeli lawmakers introduced a bill last week to the Knesset that would deduct the amount the PA pays to terrorists from the amount Israel pays to the PA every year. Israel currently pays out over $300 million annually to the PA.
“That the amount of money they receive is determined by the number of people they killed makes not only an incentive for them, but it effectively lures them into killing Jews,” MK Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid), the bill’s main sponsor, said, “It’s a real temptation to murder Jews, and it is our duty to stop this madness immediately.”