American Tax Dollars Help Fund Hefty 'Salaries' for Jailed Palestinian Killers

6% of Ramallah Budget Goes to Terrorist Stipends

High Price: Marwan Barghouti, the jailed Palestinian leader, is one of scores of convicted terrorists who receive monthly stipends from authorities in Ramallah.
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High Price: Marwan Barghouti, the jailed Palestinian leader, is one of scores of convicted terrorists who receive monthly stipends from authorities in Ramallah.

By Edwin Black

Published November 21, 2013.
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At a time of endless budget crises, the sequester, bursting debt ceilings, government shutdowns, and a default averted at the eleventh hour, it may astound many that American taxpayers are deploying their precious dollars in Israel not to pay for peace but to support terrorists and their families. Each year, American aid and financial programs fungibly fund terrorist salaries paid by the Palestinian Authority.

The concept of fungibility is well-known in finance and to those who follow the money as it applies to terrorism. In brief, as it it classically defined, all dollars given to a specific entity meld together like all buckets of water in an ocean. Neither dollars in a bank account or buckets of water in an ocean can become distinct. Therefore, White House Executive Order 13224 prohibits all transactions with any entity that may directly or indirectly benefit terrorists. This is why one cannot donate money to support a Hamas food kitchen, because ultimately those dollars would be commingled with the funds diverted to terrorism.

The fact that the Palestinian Authority devotes so much of its finances to rewarding terrorists with generous salaries is an astonishing financial dynamic that is known to most Israeli leaders and western journalists in Israel, and has been reported on by the Jerusalem Post and other Israeli newspapers.

But it is still a shock to most in Congress, who are unaware that U.S. money going to the Palestinian Authority is regularly diverted to a program that systematically rewards terrorists with generous salaries.

More than that, this money grandly incentivizes murder and terror against innocent civilians.

Here’s how the system works. When a Palestinian is convicted of an act of terror against the Israeli government or innocent civilians, such as a bombing or a murder, that convicted terrorist automatically receives a generous salary from the Palestinian Authority. The salary is specified by the Palestinian Law of the Prisoner and administered by the PA’s Ministry of Prisoner Affairs. A Palestinian watchdog group, the Prisoners Club, ensures the PA’s compliance with the law and pushes for payments as a prioritized expenditure. This means that even during frequent budget shortfalls and financial crisis, the PA pays the terrorists’ salaries first and foremost — often before other fiscal obligations.

The Law of the Prisoner narrowly delineates just who is entitled to receive an official salary. In a recent interview, Ministry of Prisoners spokesman Amr Nasser read aloud that definition: “A detainee is each and every person who is in an Occupation prison based on his or her participation in the resistance to Occupation.” This means crimes against Israel or Israelis. Nasser was careful to explain, “It does not include common-law thieves and burglars. They are not included and are not part of the mandate of the Ministry.”


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