Palestinian Authority Payments to Terrorists Far Exceed Regular Welfare Payments
Palestinian terrorists and their families are receiving far higher payments than Palestinian welfare recipients, according to an analysis of the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) budget that was conducted by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
A Palestinian family on welfare receives less than $170 per month, while the PA pays Palestinian prisoners a maximum monthly payment of roughly $3,340 — over 20 times more than a needy Palestinian family. By amending the Palestinian Prisoners Law in 2010, PA President Mahmoud Abbas increased monthly installments to terrorists from approximately $275-$1,110 per month to $390-$3,340.
Payments to current and former Palestinian prisoners fall under the “fighting sector” category, while terrorists’ families receive a “monthly salary.” Poor Palestinians families receive “monetary aid” on a quarterly basis.
The PA practice of paying terrorists triggered a civil lawsuit by American victims of Palestinian terrorism several ago. During the trial, a jury awarded the US victims $210 million in damages — a sum that would have tripled under American law. Evidence in the case indicated that payments during the second Palestinian intifada were approved by then-PA President Yasser Arafat.
Unfortunately, a US appeals court found that the District Court in New York lacked jurisdiction to hear the case, and canceled the judgment and verdict.
Today, a terrorist’s socioeconomic status is not factored into the salary that he or she receives from the PA. Payments to released prisoners and jailed Palestinians are based only on the length of a prisoner’s sentence, which is a function of the terror attacks’s severity. The more brutal the attack or murder, the more money that a Palestinian prisoner gets. Jailed Israeli Arabs also receive terror salaries; in fact, they receive more money than prisoners with PA residency.
The detailed PA budget is concrete proof that the Palestinian government systematically incentivizes terrorism through financial compensation– and that it values those who try or succeed in killing Israelis above all others.
These revelations come as a US Senate committee recently approved legislation to suspend aid to the PA until it stops paying Palestinian terrorists and their families. In May, President Trump reportedly tried to pressure PA President Mahmoud Abbas to end the terror payments. A top PA aide called the idea “insane.”
And in June, Palestinian sources revealed that Abbas refused another US demand to stop paying terrorists. Reports in Arabic media, according to the Times of Israel, suggested that an American delegation eventually reduced its demand, and insisted that the PA only cut payments to roughly 600 prisoners directly responsible for the Israeli deaths. The day after that reported meeting, Abbas defended issuing salaries to all Palestinian prisoners and terrorists — declaring it a “social responsibility.”