Vol. 16, No. 10..
14 July '16..
There has recently been considerable media coverage of the transfer of donor funding from foreign governments (including the United States, the UK, Denmark and other EU countries) to official Palestinian governing bodies, and its use for salaries and other benefits to Palestinians serving prison sentences for acts of terror.
Clearly, the channeling of donor funding to compensate terrorists and thereby to encourage further terror raises serious legal and moral questions, both for the governments contributing the funds, but also in the context of international law and practice.
Current Palestinian Practice
According to the Guardian and Daily Mail newspapers:
About 6 percent of the Palestinian budget is diverted to prisoner salaries. All this money comes from so-called ‘donor countries’ such as the United States, Great Britain, Norway, and Denmark.”2 (The Guardian)
British aid money is helping to pay ‘salaries’ to Palestinian prisoners – some of them convicted terrorists – serving time in Israeli jails, according to a report.
The Palestinian Authority is paying them up to £1,957 a month – more than the average salary of a UK worker.
The Department for International Development spends around £80million a year in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, of which around £30million goes to the general budget, which funds prisoners’ allowances.”3 (Daily Mail)
Britain gives £72 million a year to Palestine, more than one-third of which goes straight to the PA. It openly admits supporting terrorists whom it hails as heroes for fighting illegal occupation, awarding lifetime payments that rise depending on time spent in jail and the seriousness of crimes.
One Hamas master bomber has reportedly been given more than £100,000. Other ‘salaries’ go to the families of suicide bombers and even teenagers involved in the latest upsurge of deadly attacks on Israel.”4 (Daily Mail)
In his recent testimony to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on July 6, 2016, Yigal Carmon, President and Founder, of the “Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI),” provided detailed statistics on the extent of the Palestinian payments to terrorist prisoners. In his testimony, he stated:
This financial support for prisoners is anchored in a series of laws and government decrees, chiefly Laws No. 14 and No. 19 of 2004, and Law No. 1 of 2013. The prisoners are described as ‘a fighting sector and an integral part of the weave of Arab Palestinian society’ and it is stated that ‘the financial rights of the prisoner and his family’ must be assured.
According to the laws, the PA must provide prisoners with a monthly allowance during their incarceration and salaries or jobs upon their release. They are also entitled to exemptions from payments for education, health care, and professional training. Their years of imprisonment are calculated as years of seniority of service in PA institutions. It should be noted that whoever was imprisoned for five years or more is entitled to a job in a PA institution. Thus, the PA gives priority in job placement to people who were involved in terrorist activity.5
Official legislation of the Palestinian Authority from 2010 places all Palestinians and Israeli Arabs imprisoned in Israel for terror crimes on the PA payroll to receive a monthly salary from the PA.6 Earlier legislation defines “prisoners” benefiting from this requirement, as “Anyone imprisoned in the occupation’s prisons as a result of his participation in the struggle against the occupation.”7
While ordinary prisoners, such as car thieves do not receive a salary, every person committing acts of terror are on the PA payroll. The salary goes directly to the terrorist or the terrorist’s family, and prisoners receive salary from the day of arrest.8 More than 5,500 Palestinian prisoners serving time for terror-related offenses are recipients.
This situation, in effect, constitutes a manipulation of international funding for the PA, through channeling donor funds to reward and compensate acts of terror and as such to encourage continued terror, in clear contravention of national and international norms and obligations.
(Continue to Full Article)
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