The Palestinian Authority’s decision to financially reward the family of the terrorist who stabbed Israeli Ari Fuld to death is “unconscionable”, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said Thursday.
The PA has long had a policy of giving financial stipends to the families of its terrorist operatives.
As recently as last May, it rejected the U.S. government’s request that it halt its pay-for-slay practice of rewarding convicted Palestinian terrorists and their families with monetary compensation.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s senior foreign policy adviser, Nabil Shaath, reportedly referred to the U.S. call as “absurd” during an interview with Israel Radio.
Mr. Friedman touched on that response when he Tweeted:
The Palestinian Prisoner Affairs Commission has confirmed that the family of the terrorist who murdered Ari Fuld is “eligible to receive a monthly salary” as compensation for his incarceration. This practice is unconscionable and must stop if there is to be any hope for peace.
— David M. Friedman (@USAmbIsrael) September 20, 2018
Mr. Friedman’s intervention comes just week after PA President Mahmoud Abbas reaffirmed his government will continue the practice if “we have only a penny left.”
“We will not accept a cut or cancellation of salaries to the families of martyrs and prisoners, as some are trying to bring about,” he told an advocacy group for convicted Palestinian terrorists.
An estimated 35,000 families of Palestinians killed, wounded or serving sentences in Israeli prisons receive monthly payments of as much as $3,500, Breitbart Jerusalem reported. In 2018 the PA’s reward scheme stood at $330 million, which claims seven percent of the Palestinian Authority’s $5 billion budget.
“We view the prisoners and the martyrs as planets and stars in the skies of the Palestinian struggle, and they have priority in everything,” Mr. Abbas reaffirmed.
Earlier this year, the Knesset passed a bill that allows the Israeli government to deduct the payments for terrorists’ salaries from taxes Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinians.
Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: Follow @SunSimonKent or e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org