The Palestinian Authority has drastically increased the salaries of terrorists imprisoned in Israeli jails, a new report alleges, despite recent PA assurances to the Trump administration that such payments had ceased.
The expose, released by Palestinian Media Watch, contends that the PA budget for jailed terrorists now stands at 550 Million Shekels ($158 million) a 13% increase from the previous 488 Million shekels ($135 million) that it handed out in 2016. In addition, payments to the families of terrorists has risen to 687 million shekels ($197 million), up 4% from its 2016 budget of 660 million shekels ($183 million).
In total, the Palestinian Authority spends 1,237 billion shekels annually in payments to terrorists and their families.
Convicted terrorists are automatically entitled to a monthly stipend, which goes up according to the amount of time a terrorist spends in jail. Brig.-Gen (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser recently told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the PA paid prisoners $1 billion in past 4 years in what it terms 'social welfare payments.'
This policy has recently come under fire, with the Trump administration pressuring the Palestinian Authority to halt such payments. Trump told PA President Mahmoud Abbas in a joint press conference this past month that “Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded or rewarded", in what many took as a reference to the generous salaries terrorists receive.
In addition, the 'Taylor Force Act' is currently making its way through the US Congress. The act would cut all US funding to the Palestinian Authority as long as it continued its policy of monetary subsidies for terrorists.