Average monthly salaries in the corruption-ridden Palestinian Authority are low. But there’s still one way for Palestinians to really get ahead financially, even if it’s in total violation of their signed agreements with Israel.
Jerusalem has long complained that one of the main obstacles to peace is the Palestinians’ so-called policy of “pay-for-slay.” In short, the Palestinian Authority offers generous compensation to Palestinians jailed or the families of those killed as a result of attacking Israelis.
The money to do this comes primarily from foreign aid. This has prompted some countries to condition future financial assistance on the Palestinians halting this practice.
But the payments continue. In a particularly egregious example, Palestinian Media Watch reported this week that to date the Palestinian Authority has paid nearly $1.2 million (almost 4 million shekels) to the terrorists behind the August 2001 suicide bombing of the Sbarro pizzeria in downtown Jerusalem.
Fifteen people were killed, including five members of the same family, and 130 others were wounded, making the perpetrators of the Sbarro bombing instant celebrities in the Palestinian Authority. And they have been rewarded accordingly.
To date, the terrorist who built the bomb used in the attack, Abdullah Barghouti, has been paid a total of $285,571. Part of that money is also reward for Barghouti’s involvement in other terrorist attacks, which all told have killed 67 Israelis.
The family of the suicide bomber who set off the Sbarro bomb has to date received $68,000 in compensation, a generous offering when one considers that the minimum wage in the Palestinian Authority is just over $5,000 a year.
In all, the terrorists behind the Sbarro bombing are still 10 years later drawing a combined total of $8,006 in monthly payments from the official Palestinian Authority budget.
Israel continues to argue that this policy only serves to encourage anti-Jewish terrorism. As the example of Barghouti shows, being involved in a mass-casualty attack against Israel can for your average Palestinian be like winning the lottery.