There is sadly no shortage of Palestinian Arabs with an ingrained nationalistic motivation to harm and kill Israeli Jews. But for many others, there is another compelling reason to engage in terrorism: a steady salary.
An Israeli court this week charged two Gaza men with terrorist activity after they admitted to plotting to kill Israeli soldiers so they could collect a healthy Palestinian Authority salary while sitting in Israeli jails.
The economy is not healthy anywhere in the world. But with Hamas' mismanagement of Gaza (did anyone expect more from a recognized terror group?) and Israel's need to impose a security blockade, local unemployment rates are through the roof.
Salam Alsufi and Ra'ami Tayima knew that by joining Hamas they would get into the kind of trouble that would land them up in an Israeli jail. And that's just what they wanted, since the Palestinian Authority pays jailed Palestinian terrorists between 3,200 and 10,000 shekels (about $865-$2,700) per month, far more than Palestinian civil servants earn. Additionally, the families of jailed Palestinian terrorists receive tax breaks and free education.
With those kinds of benefits, it is little wonder that Alsufi and Tayima were anxious to get arrested. In fact, media reports suggested the two men became impatient with the orders given to them by Hamas, which included monitoring Israeli troop movement from a hidden position and killing any Israelis that entered Gaza. Instead of waiting, Alsufi and Tayima were caught cutting their way through the Gaza security fence in order to attack soldiers patrolling on the Israeli side of the border line.
The two men are now in jail, and, as they desired, will likely start receiving monthly payments from the Palestinian Authority. Most of that money is being provided by America and the European Union, in violation of anti-terror laws, though the issue has been repeatedly shelved by leaders on both continents.