BY PNW STAFF JULY 11, 2016
Share this article:
Israel Is FINALLY Penalizing Palestinian Authority For Its Bounty/Murder Program
The USA Is Also Considering Stricter Action After Murder Of A Teenage Girl
For more than 20 years, the Palestinian Authority (PA) or the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has encouraged the murder of innocent Israelis by paying the murderers and their families.
Israel has known for a long time that these payments were formal policies approved by Palestinian Arab leaders and not decisions by renegades in the Palestinian Arab movement. In fact, Israel found documentary proof of payments to suicide bombers in PLO leader Yasser Arafat’s compound.
How many Israelis were killed because of this deplorable bounty program? The Quartet — a group comprised of the European Union, Russia, the United States, and the United Nations — reported that about 250 Israeli Jews have been attacked by Palestinian Arabs since October, 2015.
Bloomberg View reported in its article “The Palestinian Incentive Program for Killing Jews” that the attackers, who are mostly very young people, have also been encouraged by popular songs and social media.
Israelis, of course, have been justifiably outraged by the attacks on innocent Israelis and the bounty program that has encouraged it for decades.
Remarkably, though, the financiers of these unprovoked attacks were not penalized financially. Not by Israel. Not by Western governments such as the United States, which has deducted the cost of settlement construction from its loan guarantees to Israel, according to the Commentary magazine article “Stop Subsidizing Terror Murder.”
But everyone has a boiling point that inspires them to say “enough is enough.” For many Israeli and American leaders and lawmakers that boiling point occurred on June 30.
On that day, an innocent young girl was murdered — in her own bed. Hallel Yaffa Ariel was only 13 years old. She will never have the opportunity to go to high school, pursue her professional dreams, have her own family, and grow old.
Hallel, who was also an American citizen, was sleeping when she was stabbed dozens of times by a boy barely older than she was. Who knows what Muhammad Taraiyre, 17, was thinking, but if history is a guide it’s plausible that he might have preferred being recognized as a hero by his family and neighbors — a martyr because he was killed by a civilian rapid response team, but a hero nonetheless.
Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett said that the boy’s family will be compensated for his murderous act by August. How much? According to the Commentary magazine article, terrorists and their families are paid salaries of 2,400 to 12,000 shekels per month for so long as the terrorist is in jail.
Even the lower figure is about 40 percent higher than the average wage in the Gaza Strip while the higher figure is a salary that “most Palestinians can’t even dream of.”
“The PA has made terror far more lucrative than productive work,” wrote Evelyn Gordon in Commentary magazine. “The highest payments go to those serving life sentences, meaning those who managed to murder at least one Israeli, while the lowest go to those serving the shortest sentences-i.e. failed terrorists who didn’t manage to kill or wound anyone.
Thus, not only does the PA incentivize committing terror over getting a job, but it also incentivizes mass murder over minor offenses.”
The Jerusalem Post reported that the murder of Hallel, along with the murder of Rabbi Michael Mark on July 1, spurred Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to decide, finally, to penalize the Palestinian Authority for its payments to terrorists and their families.
Effective July 1, Israeli policy is to deduct the amount of money that is paid for attacking Israeli citizens from the amount of money that Israel pays the Palestinian Authority via monthly tax revenue transfers, according to the Post article “Israel to deduct Palestinian terror funding from tax fees it hands to the PA.”
American lawmakers have also been spurred to action by the recent attacks on Israeli citizens. Last week, a U.S. Senate subcommittee voted to change its policy on development assistance to the Palestinian Authority.
The United States has committed over $5 billion in bilateral economic and non-lethal aid to the Palestinians since the mid-1990s in order to prevent Palestinian terrorist groups from attacking Israel and promote peace in the West Bank, according to a Congressional Research Service report issued in March.
If the change is approved by Congress and President Barack Obama, aid to the PA will be cut “by an amount the secretary [of state] determines is equivalent to the amount expended by the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization and any successor or affiliated organizations, as payments for acts of terrorism by individuals who are imprisoned after being fairly tried and convicted for acts of terrorism, and by individuals who died committing acts of terrorism during the previous calendar year.”
Yigal Carmon, the president and founder of the Middle East Media Research Institute, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the Palestinian Authority is investing $137.8 million this year in salaries to terrorists jailed in Israel and payments to the families of imprisoned terrorists or suicide bombers, in violation of the Oslo peace accords with Israel.
Some members of Congress took a hardline approach toward the issue. Rep. Ted Yoho (R., Fla.) said that the United States should send a clear message to the PA that “if these policies continue, we’re done.”
“We are funding hatred. We are funding terrorism,” Yoho said, labeling it “unconscionable” to provide such aid in the name of peace while the Palestinian Authority is subsidizing terrorists.
Royce said that the United States and its European allies must do more to use leverage against Palestinian Authority to halt the practice of rewarding terrorists.
“If the PA’s irresponsible behavior continues, the whole premise for funding the PA needs to be reconsidered. The U.S. needs to do better at bringing the parties together while holding the parties responsible for their actions. This has traditionally been our role,” Royce said. “Unfortunately, in recent years, the Obama administration has been hesitant to hold the PA accountable–yet has conU.S. Senator Dan Coats (R.-Ind.), who wrote the language in the subcommittee’s bill, told The Jerusalem Post that he understands that foreign policy experts are concerned about the impact of cutting aid on the ‘stability’ of the Palestinian Authority, but “there’s a moral issue here that transcends that concern.”
Hopefully, Obama and Coats’ colleagues in Congress will choose morality over concerns about practicality when they make a decision on whether bounties should be deducted from aid to the Palestinian Auth