Yerushalayim (Tazpit Press Service) – Canceling payments to the families of Palestinian terrorists would be “political suicide” for Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, a retired IDF intelligence officer and noted commentator on Palestinian affairs said Sunday.
Lt. Col. (res.) Alon Eviatar, a former intelligence in the illustrious Unit 8200, the IDF’s signal intelligence-gathering Corps and former advisor to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), told the Knesset Channel that Palestinian society overwhelmingly views payouts to the families of terrorists as necessary “social welfare” benefits. He added that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s demand in recent weeks to stop the payments has further entrenched the position of the Palestinian public.
“The Palestinians don’t see the payments as ‘salaries for terror families.’ They view them as analogous to [the social welfare payments provided by Israel’s] National Insurance Institute. Not only are the payments part of Palestinian Authority law, but just about every sector of Palestinian public supports the payments.
“In addition, the issue has become just another in a long string of Israeli/American demands to Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas),” Eviatar said.
Eviatar also said that there have been virtually no Palestinian voices of opposition or outrage over Friday night’s coordinated shooting and stabbing attack in Yerushalayim that killed Border Policewoman Hadas Malka.
“[The attackers enjoy] wall-to-wall support in Palestinian society,” Eviatar said, “for two main reasons. First of all, the attack was not carried out against a civilian. It was carried out against a military/police individual. That already takes the attack out of the realm of targeting civilians.
“The second reason was that it was carried out by Shar Shechem, an area that Palestinians consider “occupied.” So in the Palestinian mind, the attack was not comparable to an attack on civilians, or to combat targets inside sovereign Israel. Rather, it was a blow to “occupation forces” in the area of occupation,” Eviatar explained.