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Blog in The Hill on PA salaries to terrorists cites PMW research

Sean Durns  |

How the Palestinian Authority's 'social safety net' encourages terrorism
The Palestinian Authority’s decision to pay salaries to terrorists and their families has been excused by some analysts and media commentators as a form of social welfare. They overlook the PA’s own stated reasons for the payments, as well as the role that they play in promoting anti-Jewish violence and a culture of hate.

In recent commentaries for The Hill and elsewhere, some have argued in favor of the Palestinian Authority’s decision to pay salaries to terrorists and their families. But these payments violate both the terms and spirit of the Oslo accords under which the authority was created. Palestinian society and leadership promote terror by rewarding those who support and carry out terrorist attacks.

Commentators such as Palestinian-American journalist Daoud Kuttab have asserted that U.S. and Israeli efforts to force the PA to stop paying terrorists and their families constitute “collective punishment.” They maintain that the money “is not given to terrorists” and are not “a reward for acts of terror,” and instead constitute “a natural act of social support that is provided to all Palestinian families.” This is disingenuous, as a few important facts make clear.

The Palestinian Authority’s own Ministry of Public Affairs, in a 2010 report, noted that 63 percent of those imprisoned and receiving payments were single. Yet, they still received the same basic salaries as those with families, according to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), a nonprofit organization that translates Arab media in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), eastern Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. Moreover, PMW noted, “Palestinian law explicitly refers to the payments of salaries (Rawatib), ”not “social welfare” payments as some claim.

Indeed, the Palestinian Authority even treats the payments as salaries by withholding income tax on them. [...]

Arguments that cite the roots of the Arab-Israeli conflict as being about “land, borders and security” overlook the role that glorifying anti-Jewish violence plays in Palestinian society. Under the Palestinian Authority, sports tournaments and streets are named after slain terrorists, and official media and school textbooks routinely deny Israel’s right to exist within any borders. As PMW has documented, candy is handed out in Palestinian streets in celebration after Jews have been murdered and murderers like Muhannad Shafeq Halabi — who stabbed a two-year-old child in an October 2015 attack — are rewarded with posthumous honorary college degrees from PA-supported institutions.

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