MidEast

PA Defies U.S. Again: New Budget Allocates Millions for Terrorists

Just days after the United States Congress passed the bipartisan Taylor Force Act into law, the Palestinian Authority published its 2018 budget, which includes $355 million allocated to payment of terrorists and their families, Palestinian Media Watch reported Wednesday.

The Taylor Force Act would reduce U.S. aid to the PA by the amount the PA pays terrorists and their families after taking into account payments made for water, childhood vaccination programs, and certain Palestinian hospitals.

According to PMW, which reviewed the budget, the payments for terrorists and released terrorists amount to 550 million shekels ($158 million) and the payments to families of “martyrs,” those killed or wounded while committing or attempting to commit acts of terror against Israelis total 687 million shekels ($197 million). The funds designated for terrorists or their families come to a sum of $355 million.

The family of Bashar Masalha, who killed Taylor Force will receive these funds.

This is not the first time that the PA has defied U.S. demands to stop encouraging terror with what has become known as the “pay to slay” program.

After Masalah killed Force, PA President Mahmoud Abbas refused to condemn the attack, and the Fatah party, which is headed by Abbas, termed Masalha a “martyr,” facilitating the payment of PA funds to his family.

After becoming president last January, President Donald Trump asked Abbas to stop encouraging terror, and Abbas refused to cooperate.

In May 2017, Trump met with Abbas in Washington D.C. and a few weeks later in Bethlehem. He told the Palestinian leader to stop encouraging terror both times.

“Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded and even rewarded,” Trump said as he stood next to Abbas during the later meeting. “We must be resolute in condemning such acts in a single unified voice.”

But that same month, Nabil Shaath, a top foreign policy adviser to Abbas told Israel Radio that it would be “insane” for the PA to stop paying terrorists and their families. In June of last year, Abbas himself defended the practice of paying to U.S. diplomats who were trying to work on a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians and asked to stop making the payments. He later accused the diplomats of siding with Israel after they made the request.

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