In the joint press conference this week of President Donald Trump and Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas, President Trump referred to the vital issue of Palestinian incitement to hatred and murder, saying, correctly, that “there cannot be lasting peace unless the Palestinian leaders speak in a unified voice against incitement to violate — and violence and hate. There’s such hatred. But hopefully there won’t be such hatred for very long.” However, when it came to Abbas to address that issue, he made an ugly monstrous lie to President Trump, saying, “I affirm to you that we are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace.” (‘Remarks by President Trump and President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority in Joint Statement,’ May 3, 2017).
In fact, the PA is paying salaries to terrorists and engaging a gigantic fraud to mislead international donor nations that it is complying with conditions for not funding terrorism and incitement to hatred and murder.
As the ZOA has elaborated in detail on innumerable occasions, most recently yesterday, the PA has engaged for decades in systemic incitement to hatred and murder against Israelis in the PA-controlled, media, mosques, schools and youth camps, with international aid greatly enabling it in doing so.
Specifically, on the question of not supporting terrorists and terrorism, the PA has lied to the world, claiming in August 2014 that it had stopped funding salaries to terrorist prisoners, whereas the PLO continues to do so on behalf of the PA regime that is, after all, controlled by Fatah, the party co-founded by Abbas and arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat, which dominates the PLO.
A detailed report prepared by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) documents that the PA Ministry of Finance continues to make the decisions and allocate the money for terrorists’ salaries and is thus, fraudulently receiving $1 billion annually in foreign donor money.
When, in 2011, several EU countries and the US threatened to stop funding the PA if it continued paying salaries to terrorist prisoners and released terrorists –– many of them multiple murderers of Israeli civilians, the others accomplices or else terrorists who tried but failed to murder Israelis –– the PA announced in August 2014 that it had closed the PA Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs and established a new institution, the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, which the PA claimed would instead fund the salaries from non-PA sources. However, the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs was new only in name, possesses the same responsibilities and pays the exact same salaries to jailed terrorists, in accordance with PA decisions and PA law. Thus, the former PA Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs, Issa Karake, became the director of the new PLO Commission, while Abbas retained overall supervision of the PLO Commission.
The PMW report cites numerous instances in which the PA admits to paying terrorists’ salaries. furthermore, PA law determines that all Palestinians in Israeli prisons for terror crimes officially join the PA payroll, receiving salaries well above the Palestinian average.
Thus, Palestinian car thieves in Israeli prisons do not qualify, but Hamas and Fatah terrorist murderers do qualify to receive a PA salary. These salaries are linked to length of time in prison, going as high as 12,000 shekels – which is 4 times the average monthly wage of PA civil servants, which is 2,882 shekels.
In 2014, the PA paid prisoners and released prisoners approximately $12 million US dollars each month or $144 million for the year (‘PMW Special Report: The PA’s billion dollar fraud: The PA’s claim that it no longer pays salaries to terrorist prisoners is false,’ PMW, April 27, 2017). That figure has now gone up to $300 million/year.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “It is abundantly clear that the PA’s creation of a PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs is simply a cynical shell game whereby the PA keeps lavishly funding blood-soaked Palestinian terrorists, solely because they murdered or tried to murder Jews, while pretending it has nothing to do with it.
“In this way, the PA legislates that terrorists be lavishly funded, sets aside the money, determines who should be paid in what amount –– and then lets a supposedly unrelated ‘PLO Commission’ take care of the payments.
“It is absurd and a disgrace that the world should have accepted this implausible deniability and in effect, decided it was genuine, so it could continue to fund the pro-terror, anti-peace PA.
“The PLO Commission was created to deceive international donors, including the US, which gives generous taxpayer-funded aid to the PA. This enables the PA to earn a billion dollars annually for the cause of rewarding and supporting terrorists.
“In this way, all donor countries to the PA are enabling Abbas to incentivize terrorism and to hold it up as an example to Palestinian Arab society. This is the very opposite of Abbas’s bare-faced lie to President Trump of the ‘culture of peace’ which the PA is allegedly nurturing.
“The Trump Administration should terminate all funding to the PA until and unless it fulfills all its obligations under the Oslo Accords, including comprehensively ceasing to incite hatred and murder of Israelis and ceasing funding of Palestinian murderers, both in jail and to families of murderers who have died.”