2018 PA Budget Allocates $340 Million to Terrorists and their Families

As 2018 comes to a close, new details have come to light about the Palestinian Authority’s payments to terrorists in 2018. The study, released by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), has revealed a startling amount of money transferred by the PA this year for terrorism.

According to the JCPA’s study the PA’s total budget in the past year, amounted to $5 billion with roughly seven percent, or $340 million dollars, allocated to salaries for terrorists and their families.  The PA justifies these payments as awards for arrested terrorists and the families of those who died in a so-called “struggle against Zionism.”

Roughly 155 million dollars of the total allocation pays prisoners, the fines Israel levies on them, salaries for those who were released from prison, grants to released prisoners who cannot find work, and extra money for prisoners who spend more than 10 years in jail.

The other $185 million also supports 24,000 families of alleged “martyrs” and wounded terrorists. These families receive a monthly allowance and various benefits such as health insurance, education tuition waivers, and travel expenses.  

The newly released details JCPA’s report reveal that the Palestinian Authority is cheating the Palestinian people. The PA’s budget for the welfare of Palestinians in need (roughly 118,000 families) is a mere 4.2% of the budget, equivalent to $212 million dollars. This means that the PA gives all Palestinians in need only a fraction of what they provide for terrorists and their families.   

By allocating 7% of the annual budget to terrorists and their families, we see an alarming incentivization towards terror by the Palestinian Authority. Despite pressure from the United States, Israel, and other international bodies to stop this misuse of funds, the blatant motivation from the highest levels of Palestinian leadership to commit terror against Israelis has only increased.   

President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas, when asked whether he would heed American and Israeli warnings to stop payments to terrorists, was quoted by Al-Quds Al-Arabi as saying: “Even if we are left with one penny, we are going to use it for paying the salaries to the Martyrs and prisoners of war.”

Both the United States and Israel responded to the PA’s terror pay earlier this year by implementing a series of legislative measures. The US Congress passed the “Taylor Force Act” in March of 2018 preventing the country from directly contributing to the PA budget if payments to terrorists continue. Similarly, Israel passed the “Stern Law” in 2018 which requires the Israeli government to deduct 1/12 of the sum the PA gives to terrorists and their families from the taxes/tariffs Israel transfers to the PA each year.

Despite these laws which will put a large dent in the operating budget of the PA, the statistics in JCPA’s most recent study show that there are no indications Palestinian leadership will slow down its robust program of incitement to terror any time soon.