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PA: Pensions for Terrorists, Salaries for ´Missing´ Police

An internal Palestinian Authority (PA) probe has confirmed U.S. charges that salaries are being paid to non-existent police officers. Jailed terrorists are on the payroll and will receive pensions.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 11/25/2005, 9:40 AM / Last Update: 11/25/2005, 11:18 AM

The PA Legislative Council recently examined its financial documents to verify that money was being paid to members of the PA security forces. Legislators discovered that millions of dollars are paid every month to 15,000 PA "policemen" who either do not exist or no longer use the weapons issued to them toward police tasks.

The monthly payroll is $350 million for 60,000 PA security forces, more than twice the 24,000 allowed under the Oslo 2 Accords.

Former American military envoy Lt. Gen. William Ward told congressmen earlier this year that the PA police forces over over-staffed and divided. A report published this week by the Strategic Assessments Initiative, a non-profit private international organization for "parties negotiating in conflict and post-conflict situations," castigated the PA police force.

"Potentially troubling issues within the security services include corruption, institutional hierarchies, cults of personality and lack of cohesive training," the report claims. It added that law and order seemed to crumble following the Israeli expulsion of Jewish residents in the Gaza area and the withdrawal of IDF forces.

A senior aide in the PA, Sayadi al-Wahidi, told an Arab newspaper that the PA has established a special committee to establish pensions for terrorists, who also will be paid for their "military actions" while serving time in Israeli jails.

The PA pays four million shekels ($19 million) every month to support jailed terrorists, according to PA minister for prisoners, Sufean Abu Zeida. Bonuses are paid to prisoners who serve more than 20 years in jail and for those whose wives are residents of Jerusalem.

The PA prison services also employs 95 percent of freed prisoners, including terrorists and suicide bombing planners.

The European Union (EU) is sending experts to advise the PA on how to manage its police force and to train them at the Rafiah crossing. However, EU official Benita Ferrero-Waldner said the EU has said that although the observers will not hold formal contacts with Hamas, they will not shun members of the Islamic terrorist group who run in elections.

One of the candidates in the coming elections is the PFLP terrorist who murdered former Israeli Tourism Minister Rechavam Ze'evi (Gandhi).