Trump to Abbas: Time to Renounce Terrorism
Palestinians cannot expect to see a lasting peace until their “leaders speak in a unified voice against incitement to … violence and hate,” President Donald Trump told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during a White House meeting on Wednesday. The US president also raised concerns over the PA’s program of paying terrorists and their families.
Abbas is unlikely to end the program, with a top aide calling the idea “insane.”
Amid growing pressure to halt the PA’s payments to terrorists, it is important to note that Abbas is directly behind the policy. By amending the Palestinian Prisoners Law in 2010, Abbas increased monthly installments paid to terrorists from approximately $275-$1110 to $390-$3320 per month, according to a report by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).
“Who else has elevated the cause of the Palestinian prisoners other than President Mahmoud Abbas?” asked Deputy Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs Ziyad Abu Ein in a 2014 interview on official PA TV. Ein added that “all the laws, the tenfold increase of the budget of the Ministry of Prisoners’ [Affairs] — [all this] was done during the tenure of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and according to the wishes of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.”
In 2014, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) assumed responsibility for paying terrorist prisoners — in an effort to mask the PA’s involvement. Under the program, longer prison sentences lead to more money for terrorists’ families, which further encourages future generations to engage in terrorism.
Abbas previously acknowledged that the PA “ordered” Palestinians to engage in terrorism during the Second Intifada, in his effort to justify the payments to convicted terrorists.
“This is war. One [Israel] ordered a soldier to kill, and I ordered my son, brother or others to carry out the duty of resistance [a Palestinian term referring to violence],” Abbas said in a 2005 interview on official PA TV that was translated by PMW.
Abbas may claim that Palestinians are raising their children in a “culture of peace,” but overwhelming evidence shows that the PA and other Palestinian factions systematically promote violence against Jews and Israelis.
In March, Abbas met with Palestinians who conducted attacks during the most recent Palestinian terror campaign, including a 14-year-old who tried to stab Israeli civilians in September.
And Abbas’ incitement in September 2015 helped spark a wave of violence against Israelis; at the time, he called for Palestinians to prevent Jews from entering Al-Aqsa mosque with “everything in our power.”
“The Al-Aqsa [Mosque] is ours… and they have no right to defile it with their filthy feet. We will not allow them to, and we will do everything in our power to protect Jerusalem. … Every martyr (Shahid) will reach Paradise, and everyone wounded will be rewarded by Allah,” Abbas said in a speech, segments of which were aired on official PA TV and posted on his website.