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Since October 7, the IDF has killed, or captured alive, a great many terrorists, both in Gaza, and in the West Bank. Nearly half, 3,550 out of the total number of prisoners now in Israeli prisons — 8,800, have been identified by the PA as prisoners deserving to be supported under the “Pay-For-Slay” program, which provides monthly stipends both to imprisoned terrorists and to the families of terrorists killed while performing their acts of terrorism. These 3,550 new recipients of “Pay-For-Slay” are a great burden on the PA, which now has the gall to ask donors for more money so it can pay the stipends due them. More on this travesty can be found here: “PA’s “pay-for-slay” payments to rise by $1.3 million per month,” by Itamar Marcus, Palestinian Media Watch, January 10, 2024:
The PA has announced that since Hamas launched its war on Oct. 7, an additional 3,550 terrorists have been recognized as prisoners of Israel, making a total of 8,800 prisoners. The overwhelming majority of those included in this number have been captured during Israel’s activities against terror in the PA-controlled areas, while 661 are Hamas terrorists from Gaza:
“The prisoners’ affairs institutions:
“The total number of prisoners in the occupation’s (i.e., Israel’s) prisons at the end of December 2023 reached 8,800. Of them, more than 80 female prisoners are in Damon Prison alone… The number of those [prisoners] whom the occupation classifies as ‘illegal fighters’ (i.e., Hamas terrorists from Gaza) is 661.
This means that the number of all the prisoners increased by 3,550 prisoners since Oct. 7 (i.e., Hamas’ invasion). The number of administrative [detainees] increased by 1,971.”
[PA-funded Prisoners’ Club, Telegram channel, Jan. 3, 2024]
Before Oct. 7, the PA had been rewarding 5,250 prisoners and nearly 8,000 released terrorist prisoners with approximately $13.4 million (50 million shekels) in monthly salaries as rewards for terror. The nearly 67% rise in the number of prisoners will initially cost the PA an additional $1,331,000 per month (4,970,000 shekels), adding $16 million to last year’s expenditure of $161 million (600,000,000 shekels) on terror salaries.
The additional $1,331,000 per month are only the initial costs. According to PA law, as PMW already exposed in 2011, each of the new terrorist prisoners will receive a starting salary of 1,400 shekels per month ($375 per month), which will rise the longer he or she is in prison, reaching a maximum of 12,000 shekels per month ($3,215 per month).
The logos of four prisoners’ organizations appear with the announcement: The Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, the PLO Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners, ADDAMEER, and SILWANIC
23,210 additional “Martyrs”
In addition, the official PA daily announced this morning that there are 23,210 additional “Martyrs.” [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 10, 2024]…
This figure of 23,210 is the Hamas figure for all those Palestinians killed — combatants and civilians — in the Gaza war to date. As they have been declared by the PA to be “martyrs,” their families will now be be paid monthly stipends according to Ramallah’s “Pay-For-Slay” policy. The financial burden on the PA will be truly crushing.
It should be noted that the PA and PLO institution’s figures for “Martyrs” are based on the Hamas-run Ministry of Health’s announcements, which are certainly exaggerations as can be seen in the one case where there is clear evidence. After an Islamic Jihad rocket landed in the parking lot of a Gaza hospital killing an estimated 50 people, the PA and the Hamas Ministry of Health both announced that 500 civilians were killed inside the hospital by an Israeli bomb. Likewise, analysis has debunked the Hamas daily announcements of numbers of “Martyrs”, showing that there are days when the PA reported more women and children as having died than the total number of dead reported for that same day. The casualty figures are clearly exaggerations intended to bring international condemnation of Israel and international pressure for a ceasefire….
What is the real number of Gazans killed, given the wild exaggerations we have seen from Hamas in the past, as in its report of “500 dead” at the Al-Ahli hospital? No one knows. The IDF is keeping track of the number of Hamas combatants killed, but not of non-combatants. The media uncritically repeat the numbers fed to it by Hamas, which mislead the world by suggesting that all of those killed in Gaza were civilians. The breathless reports on CNN and NPR, among many others, describe “23,000 killed by Israel so far, including women and children.” Such coverage leads audiences to believe that all those killed were “innocent civilians” when the very opposite was the case…”
Because of its “pay-for-slay” terror rewards, the PA has lost billions of dollars in foreign funding, a billion dollars that Israel deducted from tax transfers per Israel’s deduction law [according to PM Muhammad Shtayyeh, Al-Araby TV, Dec. 10, 2023], and billions of dollars wasted on funding terrorists and their families. As a result, the PA currently does not have the money to pay salaries to Palestinian civil servants including teachers, and has been making only partial payments for over 2 years. Now, the international community is asking Israel to release the money it has frozen because the PA is sending it to Gaza, while complaining to Israel about the PA’s dire financial situation.
The PA prefers to support terrorist murderers than it does to supply a living wage to its civil servants, including teachers, who have been living on diminished wages for the past two years and. now, it appears are living on fumes, that is, without pay. The PA prefers to sacrifice the wellbeing of living innocents to the rewarding of dead murderers. Will the Palestinians ever rise in revolt at this state of affairs, and demand an end to the “Pay-For-Slay”program that has made their lives so difficult?
Previously, Israel collected taxes on imports for the P.A. and transferred them to Ramallah. In recent years, Israel has deducted from those taxes on imports collected by Israel for the PA, and that previously were transferred to the PA, the exact amount that the PA has been providing to imprisoned terrorists and to the families of terrorists. Israel is prepared to release that amount it has withheld just as soon as the PA agrees to end “Pay-For-Slay,” something Mahmoud Abbas has sworn will never happen.
The new salaries just for the prisoners alone will cause the PA an additional budget deficit of $16 million per year. When the PA begs for international aid because of its great deficit, the donor countries should remember that when they fund the PA, either through direct aid or by paying expenses, in essence, they will be reimbursing the PA for money it spent to fund terror. It’s time the donors conditioned their funding on the end of the PA’s “pay-for-slay.”
Money is fungible. If international aid is given to the PA, no matter how worthy the reason, for example, to hire more K-12 science teachers or to buy EV school buses, or to pay for COVID vaccines, that aid simply frees up other moneys that would otherwise have to be spent by the PA on the same worthy causes, but that now can be diverted to paying the stipends of “Pay-For-Slay” recipients — who are, let’s not forget, either terrorists or their proud families.
All the PA has to do to put its government spending on a secure footing is to end the “Pay-For-Slay” program, and its coffers will fill. Israel will unfreeze more than a billion dollars in import taxes it has collected for, and withheld from, the PA because of its continued “Pay-For-Slay” payments. Donor states, that had cut or withheld altogether their own payments of aid to the PA because they were angry that the terrorist-encouraging “Pay-For-Slay” program was still functioning, will renew their promises of aid.
There is a clear way out for the PA to gain billions of dollars in tax collections withheld, and in the renewal of foreign aid. All Mahmoud Abbas has to do is to stop “Pay-And-Slay.” Can this 88-year-old man, so corrupt and so hated by his own people, at long last do the right thing for them as he approaches the end of his life? Or will he condemn them to still greater poverty in order to prove himself a. “man of principle”?