You would be outraged if your government rewarded the families of the Manchester, Paris or Boston terrorists. So why let the Palestinians pay terrorists with your aid money?
52 Israeli civilians have been murdered in the wave of Arab terror that Israel has been dealing with in the last two years. Hundreds of Israelis have been injured in these attacks. This horrific wave of terror included vehicular attacks, stabbings and shooting attacks.
When US President Trump visited the region earlier this year, he asked PA Chairman Abu Mazen to stop the shameful policy of funding and encouraging terrorism by paying the families of the terrorists. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also recently revealed before a Senate panel that the Palestinian Authority has supposedly agreed to put a stop on the transfer of payments to the families of terrorists. Tillerson added that the payment to the families of “shahids” , martyrs who died in the process of terror attacks on Israeli civilians, is considered the main obstacle he is facing with the attempted renewal of diplomatic negotiations with Israel. This is without a doubt a very encouraging and hopeful message for peace.
The PA Chairman Abu Mazen also takes every opportunity, at any platform, to declare how much he wants peace and is committed to the struggle against terrorism. This is what he had to say to the participants of the “Ha’aretz” newspaper conference, “We are serious in our intentions to achieve peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis.” He said, and continued: “Our commitment to fighting terror is sincere and deeply embedded in our worldview.” Just wonderful. The problem though, is that we already know that words and deeds are two separate things when it comes to the “Rais”, the President, from Ramallah. He unsurprisingly rescinded from that agreement today, announcing he will continue with the payments (see here).
So why don’t we take a look at exactly how much Abu Mazen is actually committed to the “fight against terrorism” as he so boldly proclaims to western audiences and listeners. Here is the budget of the Palestinian Authority for the payment of salaries to terrorists set for 2017 as published by Palestinian Media Watch:
550 million New Israeli Shekels (NIS) of the PA annual budget is directed as payments for families of terrorists imprisoned in Israeli jails. This is an increase of 13 percent, no less, in the expenditure of the Palestinian Authority from last year.
It is not only the families of prisoners who receive a monthly stipend. The families of the “shahids”, martyrs as they define them, who sacrificed their lives in the name of the supreme goal – the murder of Jews, are also very well paid.
The Palestinian Authority’s budget for the payment of families of “shahids” rose by four percent from NIS 660 million last year to NIS 687 million this year.
When all the payments are accounted for, the PA will dish out more than NIS 1 billion this year alone to fund the terrorists in the Palestinian Authority.
So while the Israeli side is debating the purity of arms and the rules of engagement – the Palestinian side is holding festive funerals for “shahids” and actively encouraging more and more Palestinians to go out and murder Jews.
One important aspect of this lucrative benefits system that is important to mention is the aspect of “the more you did, the more you are paid” incentives meaning that the more Jews murdered – the more money the terrorists and their descendants got.
Sentenced to ten years in Israeli prison? You will receive a salary of NIS 6,000 a month. This is nearly 10 times the average wages in the PA ares. Were you sentenced to over 30 years? You will receive a monthly salary of NIS 12,000 a month. There are also grants provided for when the terrorist is released from prison in amounts of tens of thousands of New Israeli Shekels and they are even guaranteed employment in the PA bureaucracy for good measure.
Being a terrorist in the Palestinian Authority apparently is by far the most profitable job available today. The outrageous thing is that they receive these millions of dollars to give out from the generous money of the governments of Europe and the United States and from donations from various aid organizations. They should all wake up and understand where their money is going.
This is how our so called “Peace partner” is engaging in peace with Israel. So before President Trump talks about a new Middle East and about “Excellent opportunity for peace”, perhaps he should read the numbers and tell us if the PA is interested in peace with the State of Israel or is it simply interested in our destruction?
Lital Shemesh is an Israeli Journalist and Commentator