Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas did not deny that his government gives payments to jailed terrorists when confronted on the issue by Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende. The exchange was reported by the Norwegian newspaper Dagen last week.
Brende reportedly demanded that Abbas stop using foreign aid to pay terrorists and their families. Abbas did not deny the charge, but tried to assuage the diplomat by saying that the Norwegian money was not used for that purpose.
Brende said that he told Abbas that Norwegian funds should only be used for “building and institutional development,” and that the use of foreign aid to pay terrorists was “unacceptable and should be abolished.”
Abbas shut down the PA Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs in 2014 after Western nations, who donate heavily to the PA, complained that the government agency was transferring donated funds to terrorists. The PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs was then established, and run by the same director as the former PA ministry, so that payments could be conducted by the PLO without Western connections.
However, a report by the watchdog organization Palestinian Media Watch last month showed that when the responsibility for paying terrorists was shifted to the PLO in 2014, the PA’s annual payments to the PLO increased by 481 million shekels ($128 million)—enough to cover the former PA Ministry’s budget of 442 million shekels ($118 million), plus a further 10 percent. In this way, the cycle of Western aid payments to the PA being transferred to convicted terrorists was able to continue.
The Mail on Sunday reported in March that a significant portion of the £72 million (over $102 million) the UK annually gives to the PA was being used to pay terrorists.
Ahmad Musa, who admitted to shooting two Israelis dead, told MoS that he receives a monthly stipend of £605 (over $850). Musa was jailed for life for his crimes, but was freed after five years in an Israeli effort to restart peace talks with the PA.
Amjad and Hakim Awad, two cousins who in 2011 massacred five members of the Fogel family – parents Ehud and Ruth Fogel, 11-year-old Yoav, four-year-old Elad, and three-month-old Hadas – in their West Bank home, have been also been paid. Amjad alone may have received more than £16,000 (nearly $23,000), according to estimates.
Another terrorist on the payroll is veteran Hamas bomb-maker Abdallah Barghouti. Barghouti is serving 67 life sentences in an Israeli jail over his role in numerous bombings, including at the Hebrew University cafeteria in 2002, the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem in 2001, and a Rishon Lezion nightclub bombing in 2002, which killed 66 people. He is believed to have received £106,000 (over $150,000) for his efforts.
[Photo: Yonatan Sindel / Flash90 ]