The Palestinian Authority has decided to penalize Palestinian civilians in need of medical assistance to avoid cutting salaries of Palestinian terrorists and their families under the so-called “pay-to-slay” scheme, which led the United States and Israel to cut aid until the PA stops inciting terror.
Explaining the decision, PA Ministry of Health Spokesman Osama Al-Najjar said: “The decision is political par excellence and comes in response to Israel deducting sums from the money that it collects for us.”
Israel’s Diplomatic-Security Cabinet decided in February to implement a major slash in the tax revenues that Israel collects on behalf of the PA, with the amount the PA pays to terrorists and their families to be deducted from the aid Israel hands over to the Palestinian leadership. The PA paid out some 502 million shekels ($138 million) to living terrorists in 2018, according to recent Israeli media reports.
The PA is using those cuts as an excuse to no longer permit Palestinians to travel for medical treatment in Israel — which costs the PA $100 million a year — while still paying in full the salaries to both imprisoned and released terrorists, as well as the allowances to wounded terrorists and the families of dead terrorists.
The decision comes on the heels of the PA’s decision to cut the salaries of civil servants, 40 percent of which earn less than 2,000 shekels per month (about $535). It demonstrates the reality that under the so-called “pay-to-slay” scheme, Palestinians terrorists who have been in prison for a cumulative period of three years earn higher salaries than 40 percent of the PA’s law-abiding public employees.
Additionally, in February, in response to the Israeli law, the PA said that it would not accept tax payments from Israel. PA President Mahmoud Abbas said at the time, “I tell you honestly that if we only had 20 or 30 million shekels, which is what is paid [monthly] to families of martyrs, we will give them to the families of martyrs. I mean if the [Palestinian] Authority doesn’t have anything other than that [amount], I will pay it to the families of martyrs and prisoners and wounded persons. This needs to be understood.”
Last year, PA President Mahmoud Abbas swore he would make paying terrorists a top priority. “By Allah, even if we have only a penny left it will only be spent on the families of the martyrs and prisoners and only afterward will it be spent on the rest of the people,” Abbas vowed.
On March 23, 2018, the Taylor Force Act, which passed both houses of Congress, became law, ending most U.S. aid to the PA until the Palestinian leadership stops paying stipends to terrorists and their families.
[Photo: United Nations / YouTube ]