Convicted murderers - 52 of them already released from prison by Israel as part of the negotiating process with the Palestinians - are receiving grants of up to $50,000 and monthly stipends of up to nearly $4,000.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas welcomes Palestinian terrorists released from Israeli prisons, Oct 2013 (Reuters)
The Palestinian Authority (PA) is giving very large grants and generous monthly stipends to terrorists. These convicted murderers - 52 of whom already have been released from prison by Israel in the framework of the negotiating process with the Palestinians - are receiving grants of up to $50,000 and monthly stipends of up to nearly $4,000.
Thus the PA is supporting incitement to terrorism, including through the misuse of foreign financial assistance.
According to Nael Ghannam, the Director of the PA's Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs, former prisoners who were incarcerated for more than 15 years receive grants of $2,000 per year of imprisonment, for a maximum amount of $50,000 (although there are credible reports of at least one bonus of $60,000).
Additionally, those who served at least 25 years in prison will be awarded the equivalent rank of major-general in the security forces or of a deputy minister in the PA, both of which earn monthly wages of nearly $4,000. Terrorists who were incarcerated 15-25 years will receive over $2,800 every month.
The amounts of money being bestowed upon these terrorists are large not only in and of themselves, but in particular in contrast to the average monthly salaries of Palestinian workers in the West Bank, which stands at $641, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
Many of these terrorists will receive the maximum amount of $50,000. When the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians began on July 30, 2014, Israel agreed to release 104 terrorists who had been in prison since before the 1993 Oslo peace process. All were heavily involved in terrorist activities and in acts of murder. Instead of condemning their heinous acts, the PA praises them as heroes, setting them up to be figures of inspiration for the younger generation.
- Among those who will receive at least $50,000 is the most veteran prisoner, Issa Abed Rabbo, who shot to death two young Hebrew University students hiking near Bethlehem in 1984. In addition to the grant and salary, the PA also offered to cover the expenses of his wedding.
- Abu-Musa Atia, who used an ax to murder Isaac Rotenberg, a Holocaust survivor who had escaped from the Sobibor death camp.
- Yusef Hazaa who murdered two Israeli teachers, one of them a 19-year-old volunteer.
- Sualha Husseini and Almajed Mahmed who carried out a stabbing attack on a crowded bus, killed 24-year-old Baruch Heizler and wounding three young women.
The Palestinian Authority is highly dependent on foreign aid. This money, which supports the PA budget, is used to meet payments for imprisoned and released terrorists. For example, in 2012 the PA paid over $75 million to terrorists in Israeli prisons, and $78 million to the families of deceased terrorists (including suicide bombers). Together, these amounts account for over 16% of the annual foreign donations and grants to the PA budget.
Publically rewarding convicted murderers gives an official stamp of approval to terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians. It is a highly persuasive form of incitement to violence and terrorism.
Providing financial support for terrorists not only violates basic morality, it encourages further terrorist outrages. [For example, it may tempt young Palestinians to seek an answer to familial financial difficulties through the use of violence].
The international community should express their outrage at this abuse of funding that was given for the proper management of PA institutions and for promoting peaceful coexistence with Israel.