Diplomacy

U.S. Ambassador: PA Payments to Family of Ari Fuld’s Killer are “Unconscionable”

United States Ambassador to Israel David Friedman reiterated Thursday his country’s demand that the Palestinian Authority (PA) stop handing out financial rewards to Palestinian terrorists and their families, The Times of Israel reported. Friedman made his comments as the PA declared its intention to make monthly payments to the relatives of the Palestinian terrorist who stabbed to death Ari Fuld, an Israeli-American dual citizen.

“The Palestinian Prisoner Affairs Commission has confirmed that the family of the terrorist who murdered Ari Fuld is ‘eligible to receive a monthly salary’ as compensation for his incarceration,” he tweeted. “This practice is unconscionable and must stop if there is to be any hope for peace.”

Fuld, who was killed Sunday in the West Bank, pursued his assailant after he had been fatally stabbed, stopping him from attacking a mall employee, and possibly saving her life. Fuld, a resident of the nearby city of Efrat and father of four, was rushed to a Jerusalem hospital, but was pronounced dead shortly after.

Khalil Jabarin, the 17-year-old terrorist who attacked Fuld, remains in Israeli custody as of Wednesday, and per PA policy is eligible for a monthly salary once the correct paperwork had been completed.

Israel’s Channel 20 reported on Monday that the PA had already transferred some $3,300 to the family of Jabarin, just hours after he carried out the stabbing attack at the Gush Etzion Junction. The PA denied the report, but confirmed that Jabarin could receive payments in the future.

Prisoner Affairs’ Commission spokesman Hassan Abd Rabbo said in a phone call that “families of Palestinian prisoners must complete several measures, which usually take three to four months, before they receive any funds.”

“We are not bashful or secretive about our support for our prisoners,” he said. “The [Jabarin] family would be eligible to receive a monthly salary of $390, if their son is not freed by Israel and it completes all the necessary documents.”

Both the U.S. and Israel recently passed legislation targeting the PA’s “Pay to Slay” program, including The Taylor Force Act named after a murdered American citizen. The Trump administration, in addition, cut hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the PA.

Hours after the murder of Fuld on Sunday, Ambassador Friedman posted an announcement saying that “America grieves as one of its citizens was brutally murdered by a Palestinian terrorist. Ari Fuld was a passionate defender of Israel & an American patriot.”

[Photo: U.S. Embassy Jerusalem / Flickr ]