JERUSALEM – The Palestinian Authority spent NIS 502 million ($136,500) on stipends to convicted terrorists in 2018, according to a new report released Thursday by monitoring group Palestinian Media Watch.
The report was released ahead of the implementation of Israel’s recently passed Stern law, legislation that sanctions the PA for it’s “pay-for-slay” scheme by deducting tax monies owed to it.
The numbers in question were derived from the PA’s budgetary update and information obtained from the Israel Prison Services, PMW said. The salaries were paid out both to terrorists currently serving time in Israeli prisons ($62.6 million) and those who have already been released ($48,000). The remaining NIS 96 million went towards other benefits. The report did not elaborate what those were.
Notably, the report did not include PA payments to the families of convicted terrorists — either those sitting in Israeli prisons or those of dead or “martyred” terrorists. According to PMW, the PA budget for terrorist “martyrs” comes in the same budget category as Palestinian individuals who have been wounded and Palestinians who were killed in incidents unrelated to terrorism. The 2018 PA budget allocated $187,000 for that category.
The Defense Ministry, which is required to compile an annual report of terror payments, was provided with a copy of PMW’s findings.
“The law that imposes monetary sanctions on the PA because of its payments to terrorists is one of the most important laws passed in Israel in recent years, because it sends a clear message to the Palestinian Authority that Israel will by no means accept its support for terrorism,” PMW director Itamar Marcus said of the Stern law.
“We hope that Israel will implement the law fully this month, as required by law, so that the PA will understand that Israel will act with all its might against any manifestation of support for terrorism on its part,” Marcus added.