The Palestinian Authority paid about NIS 1 billion in salaries to convicted terrorists in 2017, numbers that “prove” the PA’s support for terrorism, the defense ministry said Tuesday.
“There is nothing that better illustrates the support of the Palestinian Authority for terrorism. It is our responsibility to put a stop to it,” said Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.
Proposed legislation authored jointly by the defense and justice ministries together with the security establishment would enshrine in law an annual requirement for the defense minister to present an annual report to cabinet ministers charged with overseeing national security folios with details of the PA’s previous year’s payouts to terrorists and their families. The payments would then be reduced from the transfer of tax monies that Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.
The ministry said the 2017 payouts included: More than NIS 550 million to released prisoners; about NIS 687 million to the families of suicide bombers; NIS 2,000 a month to Palestinians serving a three-to-five year sentence in Israeli prison; NIS 10,000 a month for life for Palestinian serving a 20-35 year sentence in Israeli prison receives NIS 10,000 per month for life. On top of those figures, married terrorists receive extra NIS 300 per month, and NIS 50 per child; terrorists from Yerushalayim receive additional NIS 300 per month and a terrorist who is an Israeli citizen receives an additional NIS 500 per month.
The numbers represent about 7 percent of the total Palestinian Authority budget. For reference, the average salary for a Palestinian in Yehudah and Shomron is a little more than NIS 2,000/month.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said the number reflected the Palestinian Authority’s attempt to encourage and perpetuate terrorism.
“The moment that salary levels are based on the types of crimes committed – murderers sentenced to life imprisonment receive much more [than attackers who fail to kill], they can only be seen as financing terror attacks against Israeli civilians,” Liberman said.