The Palestinian Authority today doubled the monthly payment being made to the terrorist mastermind behind the 2014 kidnapping and murder of Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frenkel, according to Palestinian Media Watch.Beginning today, five years after the July 11, 2014 arrest of Husam Al-Qawasmi, he will begin receiving NIS 4,000 instead of NIS 2,000 a month, according to the PA’s standard pay scale. A prisoner’s monthly salary increases with prison time served. “Having dealt personally with the prosecution of Al-Qawasmi, and having seen the evil that he represents, it is unfathomable to me that the PA pays this murderer anything,” said Maurice Hirsch, head of legal strategies at PMW. “The PA pays millions of shekels to terrorists every day. For the PA it doesn’t matter whether you belong to Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad or Fatah; whether you murdered children, women or the elderly. What is important is that you were involved in terrorism against Israel and Israelis.”
The PA has long had a “Pay-for-Slay” policy, by which it pays monthly salaries to terrorist prisoners and the families of terrorists who were killed in the act or upon arrest. In February, Israel implemented the “Pay-for-Slay” Law that instructs the state to deduct and freeze the amount of money the PA pays in salaries to imprisoned terrorists and families of “martyrs” from the tax money it collects for the authority. The law was passed last July and was approved for implementation by Israel’s security cabinet this year. In 2019, the cabinet is withholding approximately $138 million.Nonetheless, due to the passing of the PA’s 2004 Law of Prisoners and Released Prisoners, the government has continued to pay these prisoners. So far, PMW reported, Al-Qawasmi has received approximately NIS 98,000 since he was arrested.The PA also pays monthly allowances to the families of two dead terrorists, Marwan Al-Qawasmi and Amer Abu Aisheh, who were likewise involved in the kidnapping and murder of the three boys. They were killed in an exchange of fire with Israeli security forces when they resisted arrest. Since they were married and had children, their families receive NIS 2,000 per month and NIS 2,400 per month, respectively.US special envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt slammed the PA’s increase in funding to terrorists from 2018 to 2019 in a thread of tweets on Wednesday. “Again & again & again the PA ignores the countries that graciously donate assistance for the Palestinians by INCREASING its funding of its DESPICABLE ‘Pay to Slay’ program BY OVER 11% in the first months of 2019,” Greenblatt tweeted. “Why do the donor countries tolerate this?”Sharing a document of the PA’s spending for 2019, he asked: “Will donor countries continue to ignore the PA using their budget support to continue their REPREHENSIBLE ‘Pay to Slay’ incentive to MURDERERS?” Greenblatt decried the amount of money being spent on this endeavor, saying “Over $65 MILLION thru 5/2019 (more than $13mil monthly) to TERRORISTS.”“What government prioritizes terrorists over police?” he asked. “PA increased pay to murderers by over 11% at the same time as they slash pay to their government workers and police. More harm to Palestinians & to peace!” While the PA increased its payment to convicted terrorists, the authority stopped payments to medical care for cancer patients, Greenblatt said.The PA denied US allegations on Thursday that it had increased its payments to families of terrorists in Israeli jails, and reiterated that the main obstacle to peace was the “Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.”The Palestinian Finance Ministry called Greenblatt’s accusation “absolutely false and hypocritical. “It is known to everyone that Israel’s illegal colonial settlements, funded by American taxpayer money, continue to be the obstacle to peace,” the ministry spokesperson said.The PA refused to comment on this report.