The PA’s terror-funding machine has taken another blow – the UK is taking drastic steps to ensure the funds it donates to the PA are not used to fund Palestinian terrorism.
The United Kingdom issued new guidelines on Friday limiting the foreign aid it gives to the Palestinian Authority (PA) following revelations that the money was being used to pay salaries to terrorists and their families.
The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) announced that the PA will continue to receive British aid money “in order to maintain stability, provide vital services and build and strengthen the institutions needed for a viable two-state solution.” However, “key changes” have been made regarding how and to whom the money will be distributed.
UK support will now focus solely on vital health and education services in order to meet the immediate needs of the Palestinian people. Funding will go only towards the salaries of health and education public servants on a vetted list.
Similarly, the UK will assess fiscal and public financial management reforms in order to secure full future payments from the UK.
According to the FCO, Palestinian aid will now be directed through the European Union’s (EU) PEGASE mechanism (Palestinian-European Socio-Economic Management Assistance Mechanism), which will provide a list of qualified individuals limited to the health and education sectors. Those on the vetted list will be “checked by independent auditors” for risk factors, including terror financing.
Payment in Accordance with Atrocity
The move comes on the heels of an investigative report published in March and another released by the Overseas Development Institute think-tank in June, which found that British aid money was used to encourage Palestinian terrorism. The controversy prompted the UK government to suspend aid payments to the PA in October.
In its March report, the Daily Mail on Sunday named several convicted killers who were receiving salaries from the PA. These include Amjad and Hakim Awad, cousins who in 2011 massacred five members of the Fogel family — parents Ehud and Ruth Fogel, 11-year-old Yoav, four-year-old Elad, and three-month-old Hadas — in their home in the Jewish community of Itamar in Samaria. Amjad alone may have received nearly $23,000, according to estimates. (In 2012, PA television praised the cousins as “heroes.”)
Another terrorist on the PA’s payroll is veteran Hamas bomb-maker Abdallah Barghouti. Barghouti is serving 67 life sentences in an Israeli jail over his role in numerous bombings, including at the Hebrew University cafeteria in 2002, the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem in 2001, and a Rishon Lezion nightclub in 2002, which killed 66 people. He is believed to have received over $150,000 for his efforts.
In August, the UK suspended donations to the World Vision charity after Israel arrested the director of the group’s Gaza branch, who confessed to funneling millions of dollars to the terrorist group Hamas.
Critics have long called for greater transparency in the distribution of foreign aid payment to Palestinians, who are the largest per capita recipients of international development aid in the world.
More and more countries are turning their backs on the PA and cutting funding over their support of terrorism and incitement.
PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah stated earlier this month that the US has completely stopped funding the PA’s general budget. “2016 is about to end, no shekel or agora, or dinar or dollar has been paid.”
Many other countries have likewise cut off funding to the PA, totaling a loss of 62% – 70%, according to PA government ministers.
By: The Tower and United with Israel Staff