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PA continues its “Pay-for-Slay” policy in breach of the US Taylor Force Act

Maurice Hirsch, Adv.  |

While the administration of United States President Biden has announced the renewal of US aid to the Palestinian Authority, the PA continues unabated its “Pay-for-Slay” in breach of the Taylor Force Act.

The PA’s “Pay-for-Slay” policy is divided into two broad categories – monthly salary payments to imprisoned terrorists and released terrorists; and monthly allowances to wounded terrorists and the families of dead terrorists, or so-called “Martyrs”.

In April 2020, Palestinian Media Watch sent a warning letter to all the banks operating in the PA-controlled areas, cautioning them that new Israeli anti-terror legislation prohibited the payment of the terror rewards and that if the banks continued to aid and abet the PA to reward terror they would be subject to potential criminal and civil liability. The banks heeded the warning and ordered the closure of 35,000 bank accounts of terrorists.

Since the PA could no longer pay the salaries to the terrorist prisoners and released prisoners through the commercial banks, it decided to pay them through the PA postal service. The decision was met with great anger among the terrorists and their families, who complained it was “humiliating.”

 
Families of terrorists waiting outside the Ramallah post office to receive salaries
[Qudsnet news agency, May 6, 2021]

Responding to the criticism, the Head of the PA-funded PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Qadri Abu Bakr said:

“Three months ago we refused paying the salaries of the prisoners and released prisoners through the post office, and we demanded to find another mechanism that is clear and practical for their payment. We were promised that the payment through the post office would be a one-time thing, but that did not happen. For three months there was foot-dragging, [and it was said] that the prisoners’ salaries would be paid through ATMs and smart cards. The matter can be completed within a week or two – but that did not happen. We criticized this and demanded that they fulfill their duty and role in the best way possible.”

[Al-Hadath, independent Palestinian weekly paper, May 26, 2021]

Unable to find an alternative solution, the PA has decided to also pay the May salaries through the PA post offices. Criticizing the decision, infamous terror-mom Latifa Abu Hmeid, the mother of six murderers - five of whom were sentenced to life in prison while the last one was killed during Israel's attempted arrest of him for his involvement in the murder of an Israel Security Agency operative – complained:

“With all respect for [PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas]… through you [PA TV] I also call on the president, regarding the salaries of the prisoners and Martyrs – [the salary payments via] the post office are unbearable. The post office is unbearable. It is the worst thing for the families of the prisoners and Martyrs. They are like beggars. I went from 8:00 a.m., just imagine, I stayed until 3:00 p.m., and I presented my identity card and did not receive the prisoner’s salary. I went home. This is suffering. I hope through you [PA TV] that they will find a solution for this, a designated bank or anything, because there are old people, older than us, and they are suffering. By Allah, this is unbearable, unbearable.”

[Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, June 6, 2021]

As a reward for murdering Israelis, every month the PA pays the Abu Hmeid family 42,400 shekels/ $US 13,033. As of the end of June 2021, the PA will have paid the murderers a cumulative sum of 5,042,900 shekels/ $US 1,550,040.

Notwithstanding the difficulties, the PA-funded PLO Families of the Martyrs and Wounded Institution announced on June 2, that the allowances of the wounded terrorists and the families of the dead terrorists would also be paid through the PA post offices on June 3:

“The [PLO] Families of the Martyrs and Wounded Institution announced that tomorrow, Thursday, [June 3, 2021], the allowances of the Martyrs and the wounded will be paid at the post office branches from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
… ‘If the payment of the allowances will not be paid tomorrow, Thursday, it will continue as an exception on Saturday, and the post office branches will be opened if there will be a need for this.’”

[Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, June 2, 2021]

Inter alia, the Taylor Force Act conditions all US Economic Support Fund aid - the bulk of the US aid - on the PA terminating “payments for acts of terrorism” and revoking “any law, decree, regulation, or document authorizing or implementing a system of compensation for imprisoned individuals that uses the sentence or period of incarceration of an individual imprisoned for an act of terrorism to determine the level of compensation paid, or have taken comparable action that has the effect of invalidating any such law, decree, regulation, or document.”

In breach of the demands set by the Taylor Force Act, the PA continues to pay monthly salaries to imprisoned and released prisoners and continues to pay monthly allowances to wounded terrorists and the families of dead terrorists.

Needless to say, the PA has not revoked the 2004 PA Law of Prisoners and Released Prisoners or any of the regulations promulgated to implement the law. Similarly, the PA has not ordered the closure of the PA-funded Families of the Martyrs and Wounded Institution.

The following are longer excerpts of the article mentioned above:

Headline: “Abu Bakr to Al-Hadath: Clear dawdling and negligence on everything concerning the payment of the prisoners’ salaries”

“In the last two months [March and April 2021] the Palestinian [PA] Ministry of Finance has paid the salaries of the prisoners, released prisoners, and families of the Martyrs and wounded through the post office branches, which are subordinate to the Ministry of Communications and IT, in the various districts. This has caused a wave of rage over the manner of payment, which is considered humiliating and degrading from the prisoners’ perspective.

Director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Qadri Abu Bakr told the paper Al-Hadath that as of now, it is unknown how this month’s salaries will be paid. He added: ‘The lists are not ready, and as far as we’re concerned the matter is currently shrouded in fog.’ According to Abu Bakr matters are not clear, and there is dawdling and negligence by some parties regarding the salaries of the prisoners and released prisoners.

He said: ‘Three months ago we refused paying the salaries of the prisoners and released prisoners through the post office, and we demanded to find another mechanism that is clear and practical for their payment. We were promised that the payment through the post office would be a one-time thing, but that did not happen.’

Abu Bakr added: ‘For three months there was foot-dragging, [and it was said] that the prisoners’ salaries would be paid through ATMs and smart cards. The matter can be completed within a week or two – but that did not happen. We criticized this and demanded that they fulfill their duty and role in the best way possible.’

The Palestinian post office announced on its official Facebook page that financial department teams of the Ministry of Communications and IT, in cooperation with the Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs and the [PA] Ministry of Foreign Affairs, are working diligently on translating (i.e., spelling in English) the names of the prisoners and Martyrs in order to print them on the postal bank’s ATM cards.

Regarding this, Abu Bakr said: ‘The post office announced to us that they intend to complete the preparation of the smart cards in the coming days, but we do not know if the salaries will be paid through them this month or not. We announced that if there are no smart cards, the prisoners will not receive their salaries through the post office, because this is a humiliation and degradation for them and their families.’

He added: ‘We hope that the salaries will be prepared for the released prisoners, 4,000 in number, who lists [of their names] were submitted as workers on pension in order to pay their salaries through the banks.’

Abu Bakr lay the responsibility for the dawdling in finding a solution for the salaries of the prisoners and released prisoners on the Ministry of Finance and Palestinian [PA] Monetary Authority, which gave promises on the issue many times, but to no avail. He demanded they expedite the issue.”

[Al-Hadath, independent Palestinian weekly paper, May 26, 2021]

Official PA TV program Palestine This Morning, on terrorist prisoner Muhammad Abu Hmeid convicted of attempted murder; interview with his wife Wardeh Hamad and his mother Um Nasser Abu Hmeid:

Um Nasser Abu Hmeid: “With all respect for [PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas]… through you [PA TV] I also call on the president, regarding the salaries of the prisoners and Martyrs – [the salary payments via] the post office are unbearable. The post office is unbearable. It is the worst thing for the families of the prisoners and Martyrs. They are like beggars. I went from 8:00 a.m., just imagine, I stayed until 3:00 p.m., and I presented my identity card and did not receive the prisoner’s salary. I went home. This is suffering. I hope through you [PA TV] that they will find a solution for this, a designated bank or anything, because there are old people, older than us, and they are suffering. By Allah, this is unbearable, unbearable.”

Official PA TV host: “And we of course hope that the order will be removed-”

Um Nasser Abu Hmeid: “In other words, it does not befit the prisoners’ sacrifice that it be like this.”

[Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, June 6, 2021]

Muhammad Abu Hmeid - Palestinian terrorist convicted of several weapons related charges, attempted murder, and conspiracy to commit murder. PMW has been unable to determine details regarding the specific attacks he was involved in. Abu Hmeid is serving 2 life sentences and an additional 30 years.

Um Nasser Abu Hmeid – Palestinian woman famous and admired in the PA for being the mother of 5 terrorist prisoners serving life sentences (4 of them serving multiple life sentences), and another whom the PA refers to as a "Martyr." Abu Hmeid is also called Khansa of Palestine, which refers to Al-Khansa from the earliest period of Islam who sent her four sons to battle and rejoiced when they all died as Martyrs. Abu Hmeid was honored by the PA in 2010 and 2015, and was chosen in 2011 to launch the PA’s statehood campaign with the UN. Her terrorist sons: Islam Yusuf Abu Hmeid, murdered 1 on May 24, 2018, and is serving life in prison and an additional 8 months; Muhammad Abu Hmeid, serving 2 life sentences and 30 years for involvement in terror attacks; Nasser Abu Hmeid, serving 7 life sentences and 50 years for murdering 7 Israeli civilians and 12 attempted murders; Nasr Abu Hmeid, serving 5 life sentences for involvement in two terror attacks in which 4 were murdered, and arms dealing; Sharif Abu Hmeid, serving 4 life sentences for involvement in terror attacks in which 4 were murdered; Abd Al-Mun'im Muhammad Yusuf Naji Abu Hmeid, murdered 1 on Feb. 13, 1994, and was killed by Israel on May 31, 1994.