US Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt strongly criticized the Palestinian Authority for doubling down on its "pay to slay" policy and increasing payments to terrorists and their families by 11%.
"Again & again & again the PA ignores the countries that graciously donate assistance for the Palestinians by INCREASING its funding of its DESPICABLE “Pay to Slay” program BY OVER 11% in the first months of 2019. Why do the donor countries tolerate this?" Greenblatt wrote on his Twitter account Wednesday.
Greenblatt's statement follows a report by Palestinian Media Watch that the PA has spent 234,172,000 shekels (over $65 million) over the first half of 2019, or, on average, 46,834,400 shekels/month in salaries to terrorist prisoners (including released prisoners) in spite of its self-imposed financial crisis.
Based on this monthly average, the PA expenditure on the "Pay-for-Slay" salaries to terrorist prisoners in 2019 should reach 562 million shekels, as compared to 502 million shekels in 2018. This amounts to 60 million shekels or a 11.8% rise in PA salaries to terrorist prisoners in 2019.
The United States passed the Taylor Force Act in March, 2018, reducing aid to the PA in response to its continued payments to terrorists. The legislation was named for Taylor Force, an American citizen who was murdered in a stabbing attack in Tel Aviv in 2016.