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Terrorism and the Palestinian Authority

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Does the Palestinian Authority subsidize terrorists? And if so, do American funds, which help to keep the P.A. afloat, effectively do so, too?

That’s a question that has been kicking around for years, in particular within right-wing circles, where activists have long lambasted both America and Israel for failing to confront the P.A. on this issue. In response Congress has passed legislation to reduce U.S. aid to the P.A. in proportion to these purported “terrorist subsidies.”

But for all this, the particulars in the accounts supplied by right-wing activists about these payments have been maddeningly elusive. The P.A.’s explanations of them are hardly clearer.

In August, the Forward dug deeper to get to the bottom of the charges. The answer, it turned out, was more complicated than any of those pushing this issue explained. Among other things, the Forward found, these payments go not just to the families of Palestinians who have attacked Israelis, but also to the families of unarmed Palestinians whom Israelis have attacked, wounded or killed. Due to Congress’ legislative actions, Washington now penalizes the P.A. for both these types of payment, without distinction.

Moreover, it turns out, Israel itself knowingly helps facilitate some of the payments in question.

The issue isn’t going away. The Forward’s investigation takes you through the hype on both sides,

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