TEL AVIV – Billions of dollars in aid money to the Palestinian Authority (PA) are being used to fund terrorism against Israel, the Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister claimed in an oped for The Wall Street Journal on Monday.
“Large amounts of foreign aid to the Palestinians are spent to support terrorists and deepen hostility,” Tzipi Hotovely wrote in the oped.
Citing one example of the PA’s generous stipends to the families of convicted terrorists, amounting to 16% — or some $75 million — of its annual foreign donations, Hotovely called upon the international community to re-examine its “bizarre tolerance” for the Palestinian’s “patently unacceptable conduct.”
“The Palestinian regime in Ramallah pays monthly stipends of between $400 and $3,500 to terrorists and their families, the latter of which is more than five times the average monthly salary of a Palestinian worker,” Hotovely wrote.
The Deputy Foreign Minister added that in the ten years following the Oslo Accords in 1993, $21.7 billion in aid was funnelled to the PA, yet curiously, there were no demands for transparency on the part of donors and neither is there any way of tracking where all the money is going.
International aid to the Palestinians, which made up a quarter of the PA’s budget in 2012, is far and away the highest per capita in the world, dwarfing countries with much larger populations that are in greater need of assistance, including Syria, Sudan, Afghanistan, and Somalia.
“In other words, though the Palestinians are more than twice as wealthy on average than these eight countries, they receive more than 11 times as much foreign aid per person,” Hotovely wrote.
She blasted the PA for failing to use the money to ameliorate the suffering of Palestinians and deliberately maintaining their status as destitute refugees whose only purpose is “to stoke animosity toward Israel.”
“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.”