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July 31, 2017

Half of Foreign Aid to Palestinian Authority Goes to Terrorists, Media Shrugs

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The new budget for the Palestinian Authority (PA) increases aid to imprisoned terrorists and their families by 13 percent, according to a July 19, 2017 report by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), a non-profit organization that monitors Arab media in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), eastern Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Yet, many major media outlets have failed to cover this development.

PMW noted that the PA, which rules the West Bank, is spending $355 million U.S. dollars (USD) this year on directly funding terrorism. PMW highlighted that a “prisoner’s salary increases with jail time”; the greater the crime and penalty, the greater the pay-off.

The United States and some European Union (EU) countries have called for the PA—which is a major recipient of their aid—to halt funding for terrorists. Yet, the authority, currently led by Fatah movement head Mahmoud Abbas, has only increased expenditures.

The World Jewish Congress noted that a teacher in PA-ruled areas makes roughly the equivalent of 640.00 USD a month. By contrast, an imprisoned terrorist can make as much as $3,500.00 USD a month—more than five times what an educator would make. This provides an incentive for anti-Jewish violence.

It also violates several laws that are of interest to both the U.S. and the EU.

According to Alan Baker, a legal expert with the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), an Israeli think tank, the 1999 International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism “criminalizes the provision of funding, directly or indirectly, for any use connected with terrorism.” The U.S., since 2002, has been a party to this convention, and the 1977 European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism, reaffirms it.

Similarly, the 2006 U.N. Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy Plan of Action repeats, “the resolve of member states to prevent and combat terrorism, including through refraining from financing terror, and specifically encourages states to implement international standards on money laundering and terrorist financing.”

In 2012, the PA was awarded non-member Observer State status by the U.N.

Yet, as CAMERA highlighted in a May 17, 2017 Op-Ed in The Hill, the PA’s very own laws call for financing terrorism. Palestinian laws passed in 2004 and in 2013 stipulate that convicted terrorists receive monthly “salaries.” Additionally, cash grants and priority civil-service jobs are awarded to those who carry out terror attacks. A 2004 law even specifies that this incentive is specifically for the “fighting sector” an “integral part of the fabric of Arab Palestinian society.”

In June 2017, the Trump administration briefly claimed that the PA had stopped payments to terrorists—a claim immediately denied by the authority. Nevertheless, the administration continued to "endorse a budget proposal that would increase aid to the Palestinian government by nearly five percent," The Washington Free Beacon noted ("Trump to Boost Aid to Palestinians Despite Ongoing Aid to Terrorists, June 14, 2017).

Many major media outlets have failed to report PA payments to terrorists. Some, such as The Washington Post and The Hill, even ran Op-Eds that sought to portray the payments as “social welfare,” as CAMERA has pointed out (see, for exampleThe Washington Post Passes on Palestinian Incitement,” Algemeiner, July 24, 2017).

According to a Lexis-Nexis search, many major media outlets, such as The Washington Post, USA Today, The Baltimore Sun, and others, failed to note PMW’s recent report.

The New York Post, however, highlighted the PA’s decision to increase financial incentives to terrorists in a July 28, 2017 commentary by the paper’s editorial board. The paper said that “The Palestinian Authority now uses half of all foreign aid to reward terror.” Given the media’s obsession with the Arab-Israeli conflict in general, and the “peace process” in particular, the failure to report such pertinent information is striking.

Posted by SD at July 31, 2017 02:11 PM

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