The Palestinian Authority has decided to penalize its law-abiding employees 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, Nabil Abu Rudeina, PA Deputy Prime Minister and Fatah Commissioner of Information, said: “The salaries of the families of the martyrs and the prisoners will be paid regardless of the cost, and that it is not possible to abandon or treat lightly the livelihood of the Palestinian people’s heroes.”
Abu Rudeina added that “non-payment of the public employees’ salaries,” on the other hand, “is less significant than subtracting one penny from the family of a martyr or prisoner, who sacrificed his life and freedom for Palestine and its heroic people.”
As an example, he referenced the case of Karim Younes, a Palestinian terrorist who, together with his cousin Maher Younis, kidnapped and murdered Israeli soldier Avraham Bromberg in 1980.
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.
PA Minister of Finance Shukri Bishara reiterated the decision to cut the salaries of law-abiding employees while paying in full the salaries to imprisoned terrorists and released terrorists, as well as the allowances to wounded terrorists and the families of dead terrorists.
In a televised press conference, the minister announced that “the salaries were transferred in full to the prisoners, the wounded and the martyrs according to the orders of His Honor [P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas]. This is one of the national principles which no force on earth can make us deviate from.”
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.
His announcement also revealed that 40 percent of PA employees 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.
In an op-ed published in JNS in January, TIP CEO and President Joshua S. Block observed that, “the decision to reject all U.S. aid money means that the P.A. has chosen terror over the well-being of its own civilian population.”
Block added: “Israel is told that it must make sacrifices for peace. In this instance, the P.A. is making a sacrifice so that it doesn’t have to make peace.”
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: Foreign and Commonwealth Office / Flickr ]