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UN neutrality at its worst: Ignore the PA's "Pay for Slay" policy, and ask the world for funding

Maurice Hirsch, Adv.  |

Today the UN marks International Neutrality Day, stressing that “Neutrality is critical for the UN to gain & maintain the confidence & cooperation of all.” In direct contrast to this statement, just yesterday, Dec. 11, 2019, the UN together with the Palestinian Authority launched a $348 million appeal “to address critical humanitarian needs of Palestinians.” 

Asking the world to once again dig deeply into the pockets of their taxpayers, the UN request ignores the fact that the PA squanders hundreds of millions of shekels every year. 

Most notably, the appeal failed to mention the hundreds of millions of shekels the PA squanders financing its “Pay-for-Slay” terror reward policy. In 2018, “Pay-for-Slay” cost the PA no less than 743 million shekels. 502 million shekels were spent paying the monthly salaries of terrorist prisoners and released prisoners and at least 241 million shekels were spent paying allowances to the families of dead terrorists, the so-called “Martyrs.” 

As of the end of October 2019, PA financial reports show that it has spent 490,709,000 shekels on the PLO Commission of Prisoners, of which 396,103,000 shekels was paid to terrorist prisoners and released prisoners. Hundreds of millions more have been paid in 2019 to the families of dead terrorists. 

In addition, in its appeal the UN ignored the fact that in the years 2011 – 2018, the PA transferred funds totaling more than 7 billion shekels to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The PLO is not subject to any financial transparency and it is not clear what happened with these funds. Having said that, Palestinian Media Watch has already proved that the PLO uses the funds it receives from the PA to fund internationally designated terrorist organizations such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). 

As of the end of October 2019, PA financial reports show that it has transferred no less than 327,530,000 to the PLO institutions.

As if the positive PA misuse of its funds to support, incentivize, and reward terrorism is not sufficient to demonstrate how outrageous the UN/PA plea is, that misuse is further compounded by the fact that for the financial year of 2019 the PA published no budget whatsoever. No PA budget for 2020 has been presented either. All that the PA has published in 2019 is a monthly performance report. Accordingly, in the absence of any defined PA budget, it is unclear how exactly the UN reached the $348 million price tag for the appeal. 

On the face of it, it would appear that the UN and the PA just copied the same appeal they released in 2018, in with they asked the world to raise $350 million dollars.    

As the above figures show, in 2019 the PA squandered at least 1 billion shekels incentivizing and rewarding terrorists and terrorism and funding the PLO. 

This is approximately the same figure the UN is asking the international community to donate.

In other words, while the PA appears to have the money to cover the “critical humanitarian needs of Palestinians,” it prefers to remain reliant, with the willing assistance of the UN, on international aid, while all the time continuing with its destructive terror rewarding and funding activities.

Moreover, this UN move directly undermines Israel's Anti “Pay-for-Slay” Law, according to which Israel withholds the amount equaling the PA’s salaries to terrorists from the tax money Israel collects on behalf of the PA. While the PA no longer has this part of its tax money at its disposal, it continues to pay terrorist salaries anyway – now with the support of the UN, which helps it raise the missing funds through its appeal for aid for “critical humanitarian needs.” 

This approach of the UN will neither relieve the hardships of the Palestinians nor promote peace. Rather, it guarantees more dependence, terrorism, and conflict.  

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