Thanks to the Taylor Force Act, signed into law in March, more public attention has been focused on the Palestinian Authority’s policy of paying salaries to those who are in Israeli jails for committing acts of terror, as well as to the families of those who died carrying out violent attacks. Yet some mainstream journalists in the U.S. have protested that some of the money the PA allocates for this purpose goes to political prisoners, common criminals who happen to be in Israeli jails, and innocents unjustly arrested. Sander Gerber and Yossi Kuperwasser set the record straight:
The Palestinian Authority is a terror-sponsoring entity under any definition. [Its] laws rewarding imprisoned terrorists stipulate that they are not criminals, but fighters in a conflict. To claim that the PA sends money to car thieves or even minor offenders is simply untrue. The PA has a schedule for payments, and you need to achieve a five-year sentence as a male, and a two-year sentence as a female, to get a lifetime annuity. Currently there are 6,500 prisoners being compensated by the PA.
The PA is making no secret of its sponsorship for terrorists at the expense of America’s taxpayers. . . .
The [PA’s] Institution for the Care of Martyrs is a slightly more complicated story. It is true that “martyrs” include those who become victims of collateral damage, just as they include suicide bombers or any other terrorist who died in the context of the ongoing Palestinian war against Zionism. The minimum payment for a martyr’s dependents is more than 2.5 times the maximum payment for families on welfare. Martyrs’ financial annuities go not merely to support the dependents, but to glorify and cherish the murderers’ memory, and to incentivize family members to commit further attacks against Israel.