NEWS

Terrorists Pocket US $150 Million from Palestinian Authority Coffers in 2020

February 23, 2021

by: Kate Norman

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The PA paid more than NIS 512 million (US $156.8 million) in salaries to incarcerated or released terrorists in 2020 (illustrative).

Tuesday, 23 February 2021 | The Palestinian Authority (PA) paid terrorists at least NIS 512 million (US $156.8 million) in 2020, according to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).

Analyzing the PA budget in comparison to previous years and watching how money was shifted around last year revealed that some 3.25% of the total PA budget went to financially rewarding terrorists and their families, PMW asserts, which the PA tried to hide by funneling to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

PMW reported that the PA removed a category called the “Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs” from its 2020 budget, which had previously been included in the 2018 and 2019 budgets. The same amount of money that had been included in those budgets reappeared when the PLO’s yearly budget suddenly quadrupled from NIS 161 million to NIS 673 million (US $49 million to US $206 million).

The budget also showed that monthly “transfer expenditures” saw a sudden spike in December, corresponding to a new Israeli anti-terror law forbidding banking transactions including payments for terror. Thus saw the spike in the monthly PA to PLO transfer, as Palestinian officials vowed to continue the terror payments and crammed three months into one for fear of a halt in future payments.

The PA receives international funding from and is therefore accountable to international governments and organizations. As such, the PA has to publicize its yearly budgets and spending to reassure its international patrons that the aid is being spent well.

The PLO, however, does not have such accountability and is not required to publish its spending.

The answer was simple, then. The PA transferred its “Pay-for-Slay” funding to the PLO to be funneled to terrorists in Israeli prisons and their families, as well as the families of dead terrorists, revered to as “martyrs.”

That is over NIS 512 million (US $156.8 million) that could have brought life to the Palestinian people instead of death to the Jewish people. It could have funded much-needed healthcare during the pandemic or gone directly to the Palestinian people, who have been so hard hit during the corona crisis.

And according to PMW, it was likely more than NIS 512 million (US $156.8 million), as there were likely other terror payments that were hidden within different budgets. The PA also provides free education, insurance, medical care and other benefits to terrorists and the families of “martyrs.” Those funds would not be included in the pay-for-slay salaries budget.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian officials have vowed over the years that the PA will never stop paying its terrorist for spilling Jewish blood, despite calls from Israel and other nations to halt the payments.

Legal deterrents don’t seem to dampen the PA’s spirits, either. In 2018, Israel’s Knesset (Parliament) passed a law that would deduct the amount that the PA pays terrorists from the total amount of taxes that Israel collects on behalf of the PA.

Abbas famously responded by vowing: “Even if we only have a penny left, we will give it to the martyrs, the prisoners and their families.”

In concluding its report, PMW asserted that “if the international community is going to continue funding the PA, it is inexcusable that the donor countries permit the PA to hide such a significant part of its budget under the nontransparent ‘PLO institutions’ listing.”

The donor countries should demand PLO transparency, PMW asserted, not only “in the interest of transparency, but in order to monitor and eventually stop the PA’s ongoing incentivizing and funding of terror.”

Posted on February 23, 2021

Source: (Bridges for Peace, February 23, 2021)

Photo Credit: Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion/flickr.com

Photo License: Flickr