PMW success in US Congress
Representatives Ted Budd and Mark Sanford introduce
No Bonuses for Terrorist Act of 2017
By Itamar Marcus
A new bill introduced by U.S. Representatives Ted Budd (R-NC) and Mark Sanford (R-SC) aims to ensure that American taxpayer dollars will not be used to reward Palestinian terrorists. Palestinian Media Watch first revealed to the international community in 2011 that the Palestinian Authority pays significant monetary rewards to terrorists. Since then, PMW has documented the PA’s continued practice of using foreign aid money to reward terrorism in a series of follow up reports:
The No Bonuses for Terrorist Act of 2017 (H.R. 789), if passed, will require the US Secretary of State to certify that the PA and PLO have terminated all financial rewards to terrorists and their families. In describing the new bill, Representative Ted Budd showed his familiarity with PMW’s findings in The PA’s Billion Dollar Fraud, which exposed last year that the PA has funneled its salary payments to terrorists through the PLO in order to deceive donors:
“Although our current law allows reductions in aid to the Palestinian Authority based on the amount of payments they make to terrorists and their families, they’ve found a way around this by giving to third party organizations - like the Palestinian Liberation Organization.”
The No Bonuses for Terrorist Act is designed to close all loopholes. If the US Secretary of State is unable to certify to Congress that the PA and the PLO have ceased payment of financial rewards for terror, the aid money designated for the PA will be redirected towards funding Israel’s Iron Dome program.
The PA devotes 486 million shekels ($127 million) of its annual budget to paying salaries to terrorists. An additional 660 million shekels ($174 million) of the PA’s annual budget is earmarked for paying allowances to the families of those “Martyred” or wounded in the act of "resisting" Israel. PMW reported last month that the family of the terrorist who murdered 4 Israelis in a truck ramming attack in Jerusalem would receive a 6,000 shekel grant as well as a monthly allowance of 2,900 shekels ($760).
This is far from a lone occurrence - more than 30,000 families of Palestinian “Martyrs” receive these benefits. Director of the Prisoners' Affairs Authority Issa Karake has strongly denied that payments to prisoners are welfare support for the families. Rather, he emphasized that these payments are a reward “out of esteem for their sacrifice and struggle.” [WAFA news agency, Dec. 27, 2012]
Co-sponsor of the bill Representative Mark Sanford indicated that this reform is long overdue:
“Over the past ten years, the Palestinian government has received more than $4 billion in US tax dollars in spite of the fact that the Palestinian Authority devotes about 8% of its budget to supporting the families of Palestinian terrorists, including those killed during attacks and those in prison. To me, this is unacceptable. When the American people support other nations, our generosity shouldn’t be used to support terrorism in any way.”
[http://bit.ly/2kVUIHV, Feb. 2, 2017]
PMW has a section on its website devoted to documenting information about salaries to terrorists and their families. Click here to view.