Palestinian leaders have defiantly declared they won’t end payments to terrorists and their families despite international pressure.
The declarations have come from the top, reported the Investigative Project on Terrorism, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Qadri Abu Bakr, who directs the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs.
Bakr said, according to a translation of a report by the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al Jadida, that the leadership “will continue to support the resolve of the prisoners and their families and will not succumb to the Israeli and American pressures calling to stop the Martyrs’ (Shahids) and prisoners’ salaries (rawatib) and allowances (mukhassasat).”
Abbas made a similar statement on official PA TV in July.
“By Allah, even if we have only a penny left it will only be spent on the families of the Martyrs and the prisoners, and only afterwards will it be spent on the rest of the people,” he said.
The prime minister said “martyrs and prisoners” are “stars in the sky” who “have priority in everything.”
IPT noted that under the Palestinian Authority, terrorists and their families receive far higher payments than welfare recipients.
The amount of money imprisoned or released terrorists receive depends on the length of sentence. The more brutal the attack or murder, the more money a Palestinian prisoner receives.
Last month, the PA transferred about $3,300 to the family of terrorist Khalil Jabarin, who killed American-Israeli citizen Ari Fuld in a stabbing attack.
Amid growing international pressure, about half of the foreign aid that the PA receives is allocated for payments to terrorist inmates and the “families of martyrs.”
Palestinian Media Watch found that the Palestinian government spends $355 million annually on terrorist salaries, about 7.5 percent of the PA’s budget.
In mid-September, the Trump administration took action against the Palestinians in response to the terrorist payments.
The U.S. revoked residency permits for the family of the PLO’s envoy to the United States. It also shut down all PLO bank accounts in the country.
The White House previously announced the closure of the PLO office in Washington.