What would you call an organization that pays hundreds of thousands of dollars to reward a teenager who takes a knife from his family’s kitchen and stabs a fellow teenager riding a bike along the street?
A monster? The devil?
For many Israelis, the answer that comes to mind is the Palestinian Authority.
Because that is exactly what the governing body of the Palestinian people does.
The terror payments come from the Palestinian Authority Martyrs Fund. They pay monthly stipends to the families of terrorists killed, hurt, or imprisoned for attacking Israelis. This includes those who participate in riots, rock throwing, or even just assisting or planning attacks against Israelis.
Terror payments by the numbers
The Washington Post reported that in 2017, the PA paid $183 million to families of “martyrs,” terrorists killed while attacking Israelis, and $160 million to prisoners, in Israeli jails for terror attacks against Israelis. 13,000 prisoners were paid $12,307, which is above the average income for Palestinians.
That is out $343 million of the $693 million that the PA received in foreign aid that year. Half of their aid goes to pay terrorists! The terror payments have since been increased and prisoners and their families now receive $3,000 or higher per month.
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy commissioned a poll in June 2017 which showed that 2/3 of the Palestinians were against the policy of financial rewards for terrorist and their families, especially since the terror payments take away foreign aid which is supposed to be helping to improve their quality of life.
The Palestinian leadership does not deny that these terror payments are being made. Former PA prime minister Salam Fayyad stated publicly that in the 10 years following the signing of the Oslo Accords — when the PA was supposed to be working to prevent terror attacks against Israelis — the PA paid over $50 million to families of terrorist prisoners.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas has called the payments to terrorists and their families a “social responsibility” and has gone as fair as calling the efforts made by Israel to stop the payments to the terrorists as “an aggression against the Palestinian people.”
Former Palestinian Minister for Prisoner Affairs, Qadura Fares, defends the payments to prisoners and their families by explaining that they are not terrorists but “part of the struggle” against Israel.
When criticized for this policy, many Palestinian leaders claim that this is a “welfare fund.” But the World Bank has made it clear that “the program is clearly not targeted to the poorest households…the level of resources devoted to the Fund for Martyrs and the Injured does not seem justified from a welfare or fiscal perspective.”
It should be noted that the PA is not the only Palestinian entity that is inciting and inspiring terror attacks against Israelis via financial rewards. Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin proudly said that in 2001 alone, Hamas paid over $2 million to families of suicide bombers and terrorists in Israeli prisons. In fact, there are eight United States charities that help support this fund for Hamas’s terror payments.
While there is significant international criticism to this PA policy which many call “pay for slay,” it has not translated into much action to stop it.
Israel passed a law in 2018 which allows the Israeli government to deduct the amount that the PA pays terrorists from the taxes which Israel collects for the PA. Australia ceased to send direct aid to the PA because it wanted to make sure that its funding was not being used to incite and support terrorists. They now send their $7.5 million in annual aid to the UN Humanitarian Fund for the Palestinian Territories instead.
In March 2018 the Taylor Force Act was signed into law by US President Donald Trump. Named after Taylor Force — a native of Texas who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian in 2016 — the law states that approximately one-third of US aid for the Palestinians would not be transferred until the PA stops these pay for slay payments.
Norway has asked the PA to not use their aid funding for stipends to reward terrorists and they continued sending funds to the PA once they promised that the money would not be used to pay terrorists and their families.
Until the international community demands an end to this policy, young Palestinians will continue to turn to terror simply because of the financial benefits which their attacking Israelis brings to them and their families.
Source material can be found at this site.