They don’t have enough money to feed their people, create jobs or maintain a health care system but, Allah-forbid, the Palestinian Authority (PA) should cut monthly stipends to its citizens engaged in terrorism against Israel.
The Palestinian leadership has of late been bemoaning its lack of funding under crippling American sanctions. And yet, it didn’t seem to blink an eye when it came time to provide jailed Hamas terrorist Husam Al-Qawasmi with his scheduled salary raise, to provide just one example.
The PA has a sliding scale for stipends paid out to jailed terrorists based on the number of years in prison, and Al-Qawasmi just reached the five-year mark, meaning that he now receives 4,000 shekels a month, up from the 2,000 he received every month over the past half-decade.
Husam Al-Qawasmi was arrested in 2014 after planning the kidnapping and execution of three Israeli Jewish teenagers. His two accomplices, who actually carried out the gruesome crime, were killed while violently resisting arrest. Their families have been receiving their share of the blood-soaked bounty.
In fact, according to a report from Palestinian Media Watch, which closely monitors the internationally-financed PA budget, May saw a significant increase in the amount of money paid out to all terrorists jailed by Israel or to the families of those killed in confrontations with Israeli security forces.
While in all previous months, the PA had paid a total of $11 million to terrorists (which itself is a gross violation of signed peace agreements and the national laws of most of the countries providing that money as foreign aid), that amount suddenly increased to $21 million in May. Again, at a time when the PA is suffering a severe financial crisis.
The Trump Administration took the opportunity to again slam the Palestinian Authority as the true obstacle to peace.
And: PA has prioritized murderers over medical care for its citizens – the PA Ministry of Finance shows over 11% increase in the DESPICABLE “Pay to Slay” incentive at the same time they STOPPED PAYING FOR CANCER CARE FOR PALESTINIANS in Israel. For Shame!
— Jason D. Greenblatt (@jdgreenblatt45) July 10, 2019
Hassan Abd Rabbo, spokesman for the PA’s Prisoner Affairs Commission, denied that his government had increased payments to jailed terrorists, insisting that the increase was merely the early payment of the June stipends, done for “technical reasons” that he refused to explain.
But, in remarks to the Times of Israel, Palestinian Media Watch researcher Maurice Hirsh was skeptical. “I find it hard to believe this logic,” said Hirsh, noting that the PA had never done something like this prior, and that the Palestinian media had made no mention of it.