PA uses $280 million annually in funds transferred from Israel to pay terrorists

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas attends a meeting in the Samaria city of Ramallah, March 10, 2019. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90.

(JNS) — Almost one billion shekels ($278 million) in yearly tax revenue that Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority goes towards Ramallah’s “pay for slay” policy, under which it disburses monthly salaries to terrorists and their families, legal documents indicated on Feb. 18.

The information was revealed during a hearing brought by the parents of Dalia Lemkus, who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist at a bus stop near the town of Alon Shvut in Judea almost 10 years ago.

The terrorist, a Palestinian Islamic Jihad member from Hebron, was convicted in 2015 to two life sentences, in addition to paying four million shekel ($1.1 million) in compensation to the victims’ relatives.

Lemkus’ parents subsequently took enforcement action against the P.A., the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Israeli Finance Ministry, noting that terrorist Maher al-Hashlamoun receives a monthly “salary” of 12,000 shekel ($3,300) from Ramallah for the murder.

Jerusalem collects 600 to 700 million shekels ($166-194 million) in tax funds on behalf of the P.A. every month under the terms of the Oslo Accords, signed with PLO terrorist Yasser Arafat in the 1990s.

“As it appears from the material submitted to the court and as it has been proven, the Palestinian Authority pays terrorists and their families huge sums every month; probably close to one billion NIS a year,” Israel’s Enforcement and Collection Authority, the agency tasked with implementing court rulings, said on Feb. 18.

The organization’s decision also confirmed that the “Martyrs’ Fund” is enshrined in P.A. law, granting convicted terrorists or their families a “right” to receive payment from Ramallah.

The Enforcement and Collection Authority ordered the P.A. to pay Lemkus’ parents 276,000 shekel ($76,500) in garnished “wages” for the period Aug. 2021-June 2023, local media reported.

Since Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre in Israeli communities near Gaza, the P.A. has added thousands of Palestinians to its list of people who qualify to receive terror stipends, an Israeli watchdog reported last month.

P.A. officials announced that 3,550 terrorists imprisoned in Israel will receive payouts, as will the families of over 20,000 slain “martyrs,” the Jerusalem-based Palestine Media Watch (PMW) said.

The figure for the prisoners was announced on the Telegram channel of the P.A.-funded Prisoners’ Club. The number of “martyrs,” which includes terrorists killed while carrying out attacks, was reported in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, the official P.A. daily newspaper, on Jan. 10.

Of the 3,550 terrorists slated to receive payouts, 661 are Hamas terrorists from Gaza. The remainder are Palestinians arrested in almost daily Israeli counterterror operations throughout Judea and Samaria.

“The nearly 67 percent rise in the number of prisoners will initially cost the P.A. 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,” PMW reported.

P.A. Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said on Sunday that international leaders gathered in Germany for the 60th Munich Security Conference are too focused on the Hamas atrocities of Oct. 7.

“Palestinian suffering did not start on Oct. 7. Palestinians have been suffering for the last 75 years… we need an end to the struggle. Don’t deal with the cosmetics, you should deal with the roots of the problem, which is Israeli occupation,” said Shtayyeh.