The West has long threatened to stop donating to the Palestinian Authority (PA) if it continues to pay salaries to its terrorists – and so the PA has found a "creative solution": It will give the money to the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), and the PLO will pay the salaries instead.
PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas recently issued a presidential decree transferring the office responsible for "prisoners" – i.e., terrorists jailed in Israel – from the PA to the PLO. Thus, no longer will terrorists receive salaries during their time in prison via the PA, to which international donors send their funding. Instead, the terrorists and their families will be supported by the PLO.
Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), which reports on the new ploy, says that the PA will now channel the money through a newly-created PLO institution responsible for prisoners' affairs.
The PLO was founded in 1964 with the goal of "liberating Palestine," according to its still-unrevoked charter. Thus, the Palestinian call to destroy Israel well pre-dates the building of any Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria – which Israel did not control until 1967.
A PA government spokesman told official PA Television that the new change in ministerial responsibility "will provide political and legal cover for this issue. It eliminates the many arguments made by many parties, who always try to say that [foreign] aid money [to the PA] Is going to the prisoners." This quote, and many others, were first reported by PMW, which constantly monitors PA media and publicizes that which the PA would rather hide from the West.
The PA paid out more than $100 million last year to imprisoned terrorists. The U.S. Congress, as well as the parliaments of Holland, Norway, Britain and others, have demanded that PA cease paying terrorist salaries.
Even after the governmental change regarding the terrorist payments, Abbas announced that he will remain in control of the payments just as before. He has even arranged that the same minister who oversaw these payments under the PA Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs will serve in the same capacity as head of the new PLO Authority. The old-new minister affirmed this week that nothing will change under the new Authority, and the same "services," i.e., payments and other benefits to the prisoners, will continue.
There will be one change, however: The PA has announced that it will raise the annual payments to terrorists by almost 50%, to nearly $150 million.