If the PLO Wants an Office in Washington, It Should End Pay for Slay

Pursuant to a 1987 act of Congress, in 2018, the U.S. government shut down the Washington, DC diplomatic office of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The PLO’s head, Mahmoud Abbas, has been lobbying for the mission to be reopened; David Pollock and Sander Gerber explain why the White House shouldn’t accede to his request so long the organization continues to fund terrorism:

[E]ven if Congress re-evaluates the modern-day PLO and determines it is no longer a terrorist organization, it would behoove the Biden administration to place conditions on the PLO for reopening its mission or receiving any new direct aid. A starting point for such conditions would be demanding the PLO end its “pay for slay” program, in strict accordance with [another] U.S. law, the Taylor Force Act.

Unequivocally, we know “pay for slay”—a program that establishes an enhanced benefits system for Palestinian terrorists based on how many Jews they kill—remains alive and well. A longer prison sentence means a larger payout and, to no surprise, the Palestinian Authority, of which the PLO is the dominant party, spends 7 percent of its budget—hundreds of millions of dollars—to sustain this terror network.

It simply will not do to rationalize this terror financing on the grounds that the PA also coordinates some security operations, in its own interest, with Israel, or that Abbas has opposed the “armed struggle” championed by both Yasir Arafat and Hamas. That is true, but it does not excuse the blatant hypocrisy and lethal effects of “pay for slay.” Nor will it do to argue that Abbas faces too much popular pressure to maintain this “program.” That is simply untrue. A credible Palestinian opinion poll from last year shows two-thirds of West Bankers agree that the PA should “stop paying extra bonuses and benefits to prisoners or martyrs’ families.”

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Read more at Arab News

More about: Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority, PLO, U.S. Foreign policy

Iran’s Responsibility for West Bank Terror

On Friday, a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli police officer and was then shot by another officer after trying to grab his rifle. Commenting on the many similar instances of West Bank-based terror during the past several months, Amit Saar, a senior IDF intelligence officer, predicted that the violence will likely grow worse in the coming year. Yoni Ben Menachem explains the Islamic Republic’s role in fueling this wave of terrorism:

The escape of six terrorists from Gilboa prison in September 2021 was the catalyst for the establishment of new terrorist groups in the northern West Bank, according to senior Islamic Jihad officials. The initiative to establish new armed groups was undertaken by Palestinian Islamic Jihad in coordination with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, implementing the strategy of Qassem Suleimani—the commander of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards who was assassinated in Iraq by the U.S.—of using proxies to achieve the goals of expansion of the Iranian regime.

After arming Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, Iran moved in the last year to support the new terrorist groups in the northern West Bank. Iran has been pouring money into the Islamic Jihad organization, which began to establish new armed groups under the name of “Battalions,” which also include terrorists from other organizations such as Fatah, Hamas, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. First, the “Jenin Battalion” was established in the city of Jenin, followed the “Nablus Battalion.”

Despite large-scale arrest operation by the IDF and the Shin Bet in the West Bank, Islamic Jihad continues to form new terrorist groups, including the “Tulkarem Battalion,” the “Tubas Battalion,” and the “Balata Battalion” in the Balata refugee camp.

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Palestinian terror, West Bank