With foreign donors holding up funds, Palestinians believe they have found a loophole in order to continue paying reward money to terrorists.
By Yakir Benzion, United With Isreal
The Palestinians have come up with a new scheme to pretend they are ending their pay-for-slay policy of giving salaries to convicted terrorists, but an Israeli organization discovered it in plain daylight on Palestinian television.
Jerusalem-based Palestinian Media Watch monitors and translates what the Palestinians are saying in Arabic, The watchdog came across a news interview last week in which the Palestinian Authority official in charge of the plan admitted it openly.
“We are attempting … to absorb all the released prisoners so there will be no released prisoner who receives his salary as a released prisoner. No. [Instead] he is an employee like all the [public] employees,” Qadri Abu Bakr, director of the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, said in an interview on official Palestinian Authority TV.
What’s it all about? The Palestinian pay-for-slay policy gives monthly stipends to Palestinians held in Israeli jails and their families as well as to those who have served time and been released. The PA also pays ongoing stipends to the families of those Palestinians killed in confrontations with Israel – especially if they were killed while committing a terror act by murdering Israelis.
For decades, the PA has been paying out hundreds of millions of dollars every year, most of it coming in donations from well-meaning foreign countries, including the United States.
That stopped when Congress passed the Taylor Force Act in 2018 to halt American aid to the PA unless they stopped the pay-for-slay program. It is named for Taylor Force, a young America graduate of West Point who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian in 2016 while in Israel as part of his graduate studies.
With European countries starting to wake up and also cut funds, the Palestinians refused to stop the policy and instead looked for a loophole that would let them keep paying the reward money to convicted terrorists, including the family of the murderer of Taylor Force.
Abu Bakr told his listeners that late Palestinian leader and arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat was the one who came up with the pay-for-slay program in 1994, but the original plan to put any prisoner on the payroll once they were released wasn’t adopted at the time. According to Abu Bakr, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has agreed to idea, and so released prisoners with blood on their hands will be included on the general PA payroll.