Tzipi Hotovely called on the world to investigate where their aid to the Palestinians is going. Few donor countries appear aware that they are helping to fund Palestinian terrorism.
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely warned that the huge sums donated by foreign countries to the Palestinians in being used to fund their terrorism.
Asking “where does all that aid for Palestinians go?” in an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal on Sunday, Hotovely says the aid is misappropriated in many instances and is ultimately used against Israel.
While all agree on the significance of extending aid to the Palestinians to “build the physical and social infrastructure that will enable the emergence of a sustainable, prosperous society,” few “have seriously questioned how much money is sent and how it is used,” she points out.
“Such assistance will only promote peace if it is spent to foster tolerance and coexistence. If it is used to strengthen intransigence it does more harm than good—and the more aid that comes in, the worse the outcome. This is exactly what has been transpiring over the past few decades. Large amounts of foreign aid to the Palestinians are spent to support terrorists and deepen hostility,” Hotvely warns.
“According to data from its budgetary reports, compiled in June 2014 by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Palestinian Authority’s annual budget for supporting Palestinian terrorists was then roughly $75 million. That amounted to some 16% of the foreign donations the PA received annually. Overall in 2012 foreign aid made up about a quarter of the PA’s $3.1 billion budget. More recent figures are inaccessible since the Palestinian Authority is no longer transparent about the stipend transfers,” she writes.
“Embarrassed by public revelations of the misuse of the foreign aid, in August 2014 the Palestinian Authority passed the task of paying stipends to terrorists and their families to a fund managed by the Palestine Liberation Organization, also led by Mr. Abbas. Lest there be any doubt as to the purely cosmetic nature of the change, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah made assurances as recently as September 2015 that the PA will provide the “necessary assistance” to ensure these terror stipends.”
Hotovely says that the foreign governments appear unperturbed by this data, and “it is difficult to think of another case in which such a forgiving attitude would be taken regarding foreign aid to an entity that sponsors terror.”
‘Disproportionate Share’ of Aid to Palestinians
“This situation is particularly disturbing given the disproportionate share of development assistance the Palestinians receive, which comes at the expense of needy populations elsewhere,” Hotovely points out.
According to a report last year by Global Humanitarian Assistance, in 2013 the Palestinians received $793 million in international aid, second only to Syria. This amounts to $176 for each Palestinian, by far the highest per capita assistance in the world. Syria, where more than 250,000 people have been killed and 6.5 million refugees displaced since 2011, received only $106 per capita.
Between 1993 (when the Oslo Process were signed) and 2013, the Palestinians received $21.7 billion in development assistance, according to the World Bank. The Palestinian leadership has had ample opportunity to use these funds for economic and social development. “Tragically, as seen in Hamas-run Gaza, it prefers to use the funds on its terrorist infrastructure and weaponry, such as cross-border attack tunnels and the thousands of missiles that have rained down in recent years on Israel.”
The PA is also perpetuating the so-called Palestinian refugee status, “deliberately keeping them in a state of dependence and underdevelopment for no purpose other than to stoke animosity toward Israel.”
“It is difficult to come away from these facts without realizing the deep connection between the huge amounts of foreign aid being spent, the bizarre international tolerance for patently unacceptable conduct by the Palestinians and the lack of progress toward peace on the ground.”
“Donors to the Palestinians who support peace would do well to rethink the way they extend assistance,” Hotovely demands. “Money should go to economic and civic empowerment, not to perpetuate a false sense of victimhood and unconditional entitlement. It should foster values of tolerance and nonviolence, not the glorification and financing of terrorism.”