Daily Israel Report

Abbas Ups Payments to Jailed Terrorists

One day after U.S. pledges aid to PA, Chairman Abbas adds over $800,000 to stipend for terrorist prisoners.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 3/4/2009, 10:37 AM / Last Update: 3/4/2009, 11:37 AM

Israel News Photo: (file)

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has ordered the PA office in charge of prisoners to send additional money for the month of February to inmates in Israel, according to PA-based news sources. The announcement came one day after the United States pledged $600 million in aid for the PA and $300 million more in reconstruction aid for Gaza over the next two years.

Each of the roughly 4,500 PA-affiliated prisoners in Israel will receive an additional $190 (NIS 760) for the month of February, in addition to their usual monthly stipend.

Over 90 percent of the PA prisoners in Israel were arrested for terrorist offenses. Another several hundred are in jail for criminal activity, including drug offenses, theft and violent assault.

PA prisoners, including several thousand convicted terrorists, usually receive $238 (NIS 950) each month. Prisoners who are married or have children receive additional money.

In total, the PA spends roughly $1.1 million in prisoner payments each month, and hundreds of thousands more in stipends for terrorist prisoners with wives and children.

The PA raised money from the U.S. and other countries this week in order to cover its own operating costs, in addition to funding reconstruction in Gaza following IDF battles with local terrorists.

Some analysts have noted that international aid to the PA goes largely towards employing an unusually large number of public sector workers, allowing the PA to pay off loyalists instead of improving the economy.