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December 4, 2013 2:47 pm

Dutch Parliament Approves Motion to Shame PA for Rewarding Terrorists

avatar by Joshua Levitt

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Families of terror victims protest the release of their murderers, in Tel Aviv. Photo: Orit Zehavi / Tazpit News Agency.

Families of terror victims protest the release of their murderers, in Tel Aviv. Photo: Orit Zehavi / Tazpit News Agency.

The Dutch Parliament approved a motion that had been under discussion since 2011, calling on the government to pressure the Palestinian Authority to end its practice of offering financial incentives for killing Israelis in terror attacks.

The motion, passed by an overwhelming majority, noted that PA payments to convicted terrorists increase based on the length of sentence, encouraging even more heinous crimes to reap the full benefit. The wording referenced how monthly payments to Palestinians in prison can range from €282 ($208) for someone jailed for less than three years to up to €2,419 for a sentence of 30 years or more.

Jewish charities and human rights organizations applauded the move. Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the American Jewish Committee’s Transatlantic Institute, in Brussels, said, “The Dutch Parliament’s motion is an important recognition of an utterly shameful practice. Aid from EU member states must be used for constructive, peace-building purposes, not to help fuel the conflict.”

The European Union is the single largest donor to the PA. In October, the UK’s Sunday Times cited an unpublished report from the European Court of Auditors detailing how EU aid to the Palestinians has been “misspent, squandered or lost to corruption,” to the tune of £1.95 billion between 2008 and 2012.

Revelations of the PA payment scheme on Norwegian state television led to a public apology by the country’s Foreign Ministry, which had insisted the affair had been made up. They conceded that “information that was first communicated to [Norwegian] Parliament, and which was based on information obtained from the PA at the time, in retrospect, is imprecise.”

In the U.S., author Edwin Black, in his new book ‘Financing the Flames,’ went into further detail of the the PA payment practice, citing the actual monthly accounting records from the PA’s Ministry of Prisoners.

“For example, in January 2012 alone, out of a Social Service budget of $119 million, more than $8.7 million was allocated to the Ministry of Prisoners; of that sum, according to Table 6A of the review, $6.56 million was ‘transferred’ to prisoners—hence the overwhelming majority of the budgeted funds paid were not for bureaucratic office expenditures, but for actual terrorist salaries. All told, funding for the Ministry of Prisoners was about ten times greater than the allocation for Ministry of Labor, and about half as large as that for the Ministry of Social Affairs,” Black wrote.

The AJC’s Schwammenthal said “the time has come” for a full inquiry into the how and when the PA has been using EU aid to encourage terrorism.

In a statement, Schwammenthal said, “The EU cannot simply close its eyes and ignore a problem that is so clearly an obstacle to peace and a massive misuse of EU tax money. Enough is enough. Aid from the EU and its member states must further the goals of the common policy – a negotiated two-state solution. Rewarding terrorism will not bring peace. Plain and simple.”

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