The “Palestinian Authority continues to make so-called ‘pay-to-slay’ stipend payments to terrorists and the families of terrorists who have killed Americans and Israelis.”
After handing out hundreds of millions of dollars to the Palestinians, the Biden administration has admitted that the Palestinian Authority continues to run ‘pay-to-slay’ scheme that rewards terrorists and their families with generous financial payments for murdering Israelis and Jews.
“US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf on Wednesday confirmed that the Palestinian Authority continues to make so-called ‘pay-to-slay’ stipend payments to terrorists and the families of terrorists who have killed Americans and Israelis,” the New York-based weekly Algemeiner reported.
The Biden White House reversed President Donald Trump’s decision to halt payments to the terrorist-ridden Palestinian Authority and announced aid worth $235 million in 2021 and raised it to $316 million in 2022.
A large part of the U.S. and Western aid is diverted by the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority towards payments to convicted terrorists and their relatives. According to the Israel-based watchdog Palestinian Media Watch, the “Palestinian Authority Martyrs Fund” gave out an estimated $150 million to terrorists and their families in 2020.
The Algemeiner reported senior State Department official’s remarks:
Speaking at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the Biden Administration’s budget requests for the Middle East, Leaf was asked by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) about a report sent to Congress on Friday about Palestinian non-compliance with the Taylor Force Act, which prohibits US funding to the Palestinian Authority so long as it maintains its pay-to-slay program.
“We are working to bring pay-to-slay to an end. Period,” Leaf said. Asked if the administration had succeeded, Leaf replied, “not yet.”
The Palestinian Authority makes official payments to Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, the families of ‘martyrs’ killed in attacks on Israelis, and to injured Palestinian militants. The exact size of the program is disputed, but is estimated to be around $300 million annually, or nearly 10% of the entire Palestinian Authority budget, according to the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, an Israeli think-tank. The payments are higher than the average Palestinian wage, further incentivizing terrorist attacks.
Because the payments scale with the length of incarceration, a terrorist like Hakim Awad, who murdered five Israeli civilians, including three children, can expect to receive nearly $2 million while he serves his 130-year sentence as a reward for his actions from the Palestinian Authority.
The Taylor Force Act was named for a US army veteran, Taylor Force, who was killed in a Palestinian stabbing attack in Tel Aviv in 2016 in which 11 others were also injured. The attacker, 21-year-old Bashar Masalha, was killed by Israeli police, but his family receives a monthly payment from the PA’s Martyr’s Fund. The act prohibits all US aid to the Palestinian Authority so long as the stipend payments continue.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly rejected calls to halt the payments, which are enshrined in Palestinian law.
The damning admission made by the Biden administration goes against the narrative peddled by the mainstream media. In April 2021, the New York Times called the PA-funded ‘pay-to-slay’ scheme a “far-right conspiracy.” (Read David Gerstman’s post calling out the NY Times.)
The news comes as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is taking steps to counter the pay-to-slay scheme amid a surge in Palestinian terrorist and jihadist attacks.. In January 2023, Israel “transferred 138.8 million shekels ($39.5 million) of revenues collected for the Palestinian Authority to the victims of terrorism and their families,” the Jewish News Syndicate reported.
Prime Minister Netanyahu’s coalition angered Palestinian lawmakers when it enacted a law revoking the citizenship rights of terrorists who benefit from this terrorism-financing scheme. In February, the Knesset passed a law “to strip convicted terrorists with Israeli nationality of their citizenship — provided they receive funding from the Palestinian Authority or an associated organization,” the Times of Israel reported.DONATE
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