Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Israel and Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr discussed ending the Palestinian Authority’s monthly payments to convicted terrorists and their families in his meetings in the region this week.
Amr discussed “security, human rights and the rule of law, economic development, payments to individuals imprisoned for acts of terrorism, energy, water and humanitarian relief in Gaza” with Israeli and Palestinian officials, according to a statement from the US Embassy in Jerusalem.
A diplomatic source specified that Amr encouraged the Palestinians to end stipends to terrorists, which critics have nicknamed “pay for slay.”
The Palestinian Authority pays convicted terrorists and the families of those killed while committing acts of terror a monthly sum. The living terrorists receive more depending on their prison sentence, meaning that the greater the severity of the crime – the more Israelis killed and wounded – the more they receive each month.
Israel’s National Bureau for Counter-Terror Financing in the Defense Ministry reported that the PA paid NIS 597 million ($185 million) in 2020.
Amr’s “visit further sought ways to make tangible improvements for the Palestinian people with a view to preserving the vision of a negotiated two-state solution,” the US embassy stated.
His meetings in Jerusalem, Ramallah, Bethlehem and Tel Aviv “advanced our goals for achieving equal measures of security, freedom, opportunity, and dignity for Israelis and Palestinians,” the statement reads.
Within his discussions of economic development, Amr emphasized increasing tourism in Bethlehem, the diplomatic source said.
The embassy said that “Amr found his meetings with Palestinian civil society focused on the importance of human rights, as well as the need to provide hope, opportunity, and a political horizon, especially for young people. They also discussed the challenges activists and journalists are facing with freedom of expression and peaceful demonstration.”