Pay for Slay with funds from UK?
Pay for Slay with funds from UK?

The Department for International Development (DFID) must now release documents to UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI), having abandoned part of its appeal from the decision of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

The ICO ordered DFID to disclose to UKLFI audits of accounts into which British grant aid was transferred and then used to pay salaries to convicted Palestinian terrorists. British Ministers relied on these audits when concerns were expressed that British money was being used to pay terrorists.

Various countries, including the UK, paid large sums of money into the World Bank’s Palestinian Recovery and Development Program Multi donor trust fund (PRDP-MDTF), which were then transferred to the Palestinian Authority’s Central Treasury Account.

Funds from this account were used to pay convicted terrorists, rewarding them for their crimes.

On 26 July 2019, the ICO ordered DFID to disclose the audit reports of the PRDP-MDTF and the terms on which the auditors were engaged. The ICO concluded that there was a significant public interest in the disclosure of the information, which outweighed any harm that may be done to diplomatic relations with the Palestinian Authority.

DFID had filed a Notice of Appeal on 19 August 2019, saying that it intended to appeal the release of the documents, on the grounds that the ICO’s assessment of the public interest was wrong, and that it also disputed the ICO’s conclusion that the Palestinian Authority was not a State, for the purposes of section 27 of the Freedom of Information Act.

DFID has now abandoned the first point but is still seeking to continue its appeal on the second point. The appeal suspended DFID’s obligation to comply with the ICO’s Order, but in our view it must now comply since the appeal on the “State” point (even if permitted) cannot affect the ruling that it must disclose the documents.


DFID must have known about “Pay for Slay” since 2007

Money was being spent on salaries for convicted terrorists, as well as payments to families of suicide bombers. More evidence has emerged that DFID must have known that some of the money it paid to the Palestinian Authority (the PA) was being spent on salaries for convicted terrorists, as well as payments to families of suicide bombers.'

A World Bank Report has come to light that criticised the sums spent by the PA on payments to terrorists and their families. The West Bank and Gaza Public Expenditure Review, produced by the World Bank in February 2007, highlights the disproportionate amount spent by the PA on payments to convicted terrorists, former detainees  and families of “martyrs” i.e. those who died in the course of committing terrorist acts such as suicide bombers.

The World Bank said 1.3% of the PA budget was far too much to spend on terrorists’ salaries in 2005. But by 2018 the PA spending on terrorists’ salaries had soared to 7% of its budget. 

Posted with permission from UKLFI website.