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Coronavirus and PA financial priorities

Maurice Hirsch, Adv.  |
  • The amount the PA is paying terrorists this month could buy them 387,143 Coronavirus test kits or 465 ventilators instead

For which leaders is the payment of financial rewards to terrorists more important than supporting the needy or paying teachers?

The answer is, of course, the Palestinian Authority leaders– during the Coronavirus crisis!

Anticipating a fall in income, PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh announced that the payment of the March salaries will be staggered, and every day a different group of PA employees will be paid. The order of payment is a clear indication of the PA’s priorities.

Preceded only by the medical and supporting personnel, and the PA Security Forces members, third in line to receive their share of the limited PA budget are the terrorist prisoners and the families of the dead terrorists, the so-called “Martyrs.”

“Since the wheels of production, import, and consumption have stopped, there will be a large drop of more than 50% in the PA’s revenues… The international aid will decrease because the entire world is in crisis, and therefore we will work according to an emergency austerity budget by reducing the expenses as much as possible. However, we will pay the salaries for this month [March] in full and over the course of several days in order to prevent gatherings in front of the banks, and this [will be] in the following manner:

  • On the first day, the salaries of the medical and supporting personnel will be paid.
  • On the second day, to the [PA] Security Forces members.
  • On the third day, to the prisoners and [the families of] the Martyrs.
  • On the fourth day, to welfare cases and the poor.
  • On the fifth day, to the teachers.
  • On the sixth day, to the rest of the [PA] public employees.
  • The last payment, on the seventh day, will be to senior officials, to high level state employees, and to the ministers.”

[WAFA, Official PA news agency, March 29, 2020]

As Palestinian Media Watch has shown, this is not the first time the PA has clearly demonstrated its warped priorities. In 2019, when the PA decided to plunge itself into a self-made financial crisis and was forced to cut salaries to its law abiding employees, it nevertheless committed itself to paying, in full, the salaries of the terrorist prisoners and allowances of the families of the dead terrorists.   

Similarly, the fact that the PA prioritizes the payment of the terror rewards over the payment of benefits to the needy Palestinians, is not a surprise. As PMW demonstrated, the PA devotes six times more of its budget to the terrorist prisoners and the families of the dead terrorists than it does to its needy.

To give the PA decision perspective, one must take into account that in 2019 the average monthly PA expenditure on the payment of the terror incentives and rewards was in excess of 50,000,000 shekels ($13,937,170/ €12,579,425). That means, that based on the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s price for Coronavirus test kits, the PA just positively chose to incentivize and reward terror instead of buying 387,143 Coronavirus test kits or buying 465 of the low-cost MIT ventilators

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