Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized on Monday the Palestinian Authority’s continued granting of substantial monthly salaries and grants upon the release of incarcerated terrorists. These monthly salaries range from $3,500 to $25,000. The terrorists’ salaries and grants are determined by the number of years that they spent in an Israeli prison for their terrorist-related offences. The more damage to Israel in the attack, the more money the terrorist receives.
In a harshly worded statement, Netanyahu said:
“…the PA is giving a strong financial incentive to terrorism, including through the misuse of fungible foreign financial assistance. 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.”
Palestinian legislation, specifically the Palestinian Prisoner’s Law, officially sanctions payments to Palestinians who attack Israelis. In 2013 even more benefits were added for convicted terrorists upon their release. The official newspaper of the PA, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida,wrote:
“[E]very Palestinian inmate in an Israeli prison who is convicted of a terrorism-related offense receives a monthly salary, from the beginning of his imprisonment.”
Due to the financial hardships faced by many Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, the PA’s high salary and grants are a big incentive (especially for youth) to commit terrorist attacks in order to support their family. In the 2010 updated Palestinian Prisoner’s Law, terrorists that are incarcerated for their terrorist attacks receive NIS 1,400 (around $400) upon imprisonment. This is in addition to their salary, grants upon release and living expenses of the prisoners’ families, which are all paid by the PA.
Netanyahu said these payouts for terrorist attacks “tempt young Palestinians to seek an answer to familial financial difficulties through the use of violence.”
These financial incentives amount to a whopping 16 percent of the annual foreign donations and grants to the PA budget, constituting an abuse of the foreign aid.
Beyond raising their salaries, the PA “promotes” the freed terrorists’ status (equivalent to administrative grades in its civil service or military rank) according to the number of years that the terrorist was incarcerated. Those who were incarcerated for 25 years are awarded the (equivalent) rank of Major-General in the security forces or of a Deputy Minister in the PA. Both of these earn around $4,000 monthly. They are also given priority over other candidates for official positions.
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