Palestinian Authority resumes direct-payment to Palestinian terrorists

The Palestinian Authority has decided to return to direct-financing of security prisoners incarcerated in Israeli jails for terror related offences, as well as families of Palestinian assailants that have been killed during acts of terror against Israelis. The Western-backed Palestinian Authority stopped direct payments in 2014, when it decided to redirect the funds to a Prisoners Affairs Authority, which it classified as part of the Palestine Liberation Organization, rather than the Palestinian Authority, itself – a legal loophole that allowed the Palestinian leadership to avoid scrutiny by their most significant financial backers in the West. Nevertheless, after The U.S. Congress passed a bill dubbed, the Taylor Force Act, which is expected to adversely affect the United States’ financial support of the Palestinian Authority due to its use of Western aid – even if indirectly – to support Palestinians with terror related offenses and their families. Apparently, this has prompted Palestinian officials to stop hiding behind the legal loophole and to make those payments openly and formally, as the Palestinian Authority has designated over 7 percent of its 2018 state budget to pay Palestinian security prisoners incarcerated in Israeli jails and families of Palestinians killed during acts of terror. The funds include 127.5 million euros – or 157 million dollars – in salaries to Palestinian security prisoners, and another 160 million euros – or 196 million dollars – to the families of terrorists who were killed. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman responded to the Palestinian Authority’s decision to resume its direct payments, saying “The terror-sponsoring (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) has removed his mask and has dropped his gloves,” while adding that Israel “will put a stop to this absurdity.” The Palestinian Authority did not immediately respond to TV7’s request for comment.