The Palestinian Authority Pays Terrorists at the Expense of Its Neediest Citizens

Jan. 14 2019

Last month, a Palestinian terrorist shot a pregnant Israeli in the abdomen, leading to the death of her child. If the perpetrator is arrested or killed, he or his family will receive regular, generous payments from the Palestinian Authority (PA). The U.S. and a few other nations that fund the PA have finally taken steps to punish this practice, but Ramallah has rejoined that under no circumstances will it cease to make the payments. Sander Gerber and Yossi Kuperwasser write:

Palestinian officials, in Arabic, characterize terror trust-fund recipients as “soldiers and sons of our nation.” In English, they defend these payments as “social welfare,” used to support “innocent individuals” suffering from the loss of a head of household “breadwinner.” This claim, which attempts to [disguise] blood money [as] benevolence, is usually phrased like a July 2017 statement by Husam Zomlot, a former Palestinian envoy to the U.S.: “This is a program that is used for the victims of the occupation. . . . It’s a program to give the families a dignified life; they are provided for, so they and their kids can lead a different future.”

Characterizing payments for terror as social welfare is a deception that is frequently accepted at face value by Western governments that fund the Palestinian Authority and its terror-payments policy. The problem with this claim . . . is that it is demonstrably false. . . . Simply put, the Palestinian system governing payments to terrorists is far superior to the regular needs-based welfare system. Perversely, by using its budget to pay terrorists, the Palestinian Authority is depriving those less fortunate members of Palestinian society of their fair share of government aid.

In the PA’s 2018 budget, funding levels for “pay-for-slay” programs and social-welfare programs are disclosed. Terror payment programs include salaries to prisoners set at nearly $150 million. Allocations to those killed or injured in “wars” with Israel is budgeted at over $180 million, together more than $330 million overall—consuming over 7 percent of the annual Palestinian budget.

These payments go to approximately 10,500 imprisoned and released prisoners and some 37,500 families of martyrs and injured. By contrast, the entire 2018 budget for the Palestinian Authority’s social-welfare system is about $214 million and supports 118,000 households: a much larger group subsisting on a much smaller budget. . . . The maximum welfare payment is 57-percent less than the minimum pay-for-slay salary.

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More about: Israel & Zionism, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror

 

Despite What the UN Says, the Violence at the Gaza Border Is Military, Not Civilian, in Nature

March 22 2019

On Monday, a UN Human Rights Council commission of inquiry issued its final report on last spring’s disturbances at the Gaza border. Geoffrey Corn and Peter Margulies explain why the report is fatally flawed:

The commission framed the events [in Gaza] as a series of demonstrations that were “civilian in nature.” Israel and its Supreme Court, [which has investigated some of the killings that occurred], framed the same events quite differently: as a new evolution in Israel’s ongoing armed conflict with the terrorist organization Hamas. Consistency and common sense suggest that the Israeli High Court of Justice’s framing is a more rational explanation of what occurred at the Israel-Gaza border in spring 2018.

Kites, [for instance], played a telltale role [in the violence]. When most people think of kites, they think of a child’s plaything or a hobbyist’s harmless passion. In the Gaza confrontation, kites [became] a new and effective, albeit low-tech, tactic for attacking Israel. As the report conceded, senior Gaza leaders, including from Hamas, “encouraged” the unleashing of waves of incendiary kites that during and since the spring 2018 confrontations have burned thousands of acres of arable land within Israel. The resulting destruction included fires that damaged the Kerem Shalom border crossing, which conveys goods and gasoline from Israel to Gaza. . . .

Moreover, the incendiary-kite offensive was an effective diversion from the efforts encouraged and coordinated by Hamas last spring to pierce the border with Israel and attack both IDF personnel and the civilian residents of the beleaguered Israeli towns a short distance from the border fence. . . .

The commission also failed to acknowledge that Hamas sought to use civilians as an operational cover to move members of its armed wing into position along the fence. For IDF commanders, this increased the importance of preventing a breach [in the fence]. Large crowds directly along the fence would simplify breakthrough attempts by intermingled Hamas and other belligerent operatives. The crowds themselves also could attempt to pour through any breach. Unfortunately, the commission seems to have completely omitted any credible assessment of the potential casualties on all sides that would have resulted from IDF action to seal a breach once it was achieved. . . .

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More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security, Laws of war, UNHRC, United Nations