Skip to main content

PA to pay salaries to all terrorists in Israeli prisons

Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik  |
PA to pay salaries
to all terrorists in Israeli prisons

Financial aid from many donor countries
goes directly to PA budget from which salaries are paid

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

A law published in the official Palestinian Authority Registry last month grants all Palestinians and Israeli Arabs imprisoned in Israel for terror crimes a monthly salary from the PA. The Arabic word the PA uses for this payment is "ratib," meaning "salary." Palestinian Media Watch has reported numerous times on Palestinian Authority glorification of terrorists serving time in Israeli prisons. Following the signing of this new law, the PA is now paying a salary to these prisoners.

The PA has defined by law which Palestinians would be considered "prisoners."
"Anyone imprisoned in the occupation's [Israel's] prisons as a result of his participation in the struggle against the occupation."

[Ch. 1 of Law of Prisoners, 2004/19,
passed and published by the PA Chairman and Government, December 2004.
The Prisoners' Center for Studies,, Accessed May 9, 2011]

In other words, all Palestinians in Israeli prisons for terror crimes officially join the PA payroll. According to the definition in the PA law, Palestinian car thieves in Israeli prisons will not receive a salary, but Hamas and Fatah terrorist murderers will.

The PA also gives a salary to Israeli Arabs convicted of terror crimes against Israel - the country of which they are citizens. PA benefits to Israeli Arab terrorists, in fact, are greater than the ones extended to Palestinian terrorists.

Those serving more than 20-year sentences will receive a greater PA salary than prisoners serving shorter sentences, the new PA law establishes. Salaries are to be paid from the day of arrest until release.

5,500 Palestinian prisoners are currently serving time in Israeli prisons for terror-related offenses. Among those now eligible are Abdallah Barghouti, serving 67 life sentences; Hassan Salameh, serving 38 life sentences; and Jamal Abu Al-Hijja, serving nine life sentences, all of whom are imprisoned for planning suicide bombings. These three terrorists were recently called "heroic" by the official PA daily (see full article below.)

Funding by donor nations could enable payment of salaries to terrorists:
The new PA law stipulates that payment of salaries "will be implemented... on the basis of available sources of funding." Accordingly, when the PA is short of cash for salaries, the salaries to the prisoners will be cut.

The PA has reported that the US, the EU, France, Britain, Ireland, Norway, Japan, India and the World Bank have all given money to the PA for its general budget in 2010-2011 (see donor country chart with amounts below).

Such direct funding could be part of the "available sources" for terrorist salaries, or could free money elsewhere in the PA budget that could be used for these salaries.

The list is not exhaustive as it relies solely on reports in the official PA daily. The PA receives financial aid from many other donors as well.

Recently, the EU announced the transfer of 45 million euros to the PA for salaries:

"Some EUR 45 million of the funds from today's decision will go towards salaries and pensions of vital workers, mainly doctors, nurses and teachers."
Accessed May 9, 2011]

In November 2010, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the transfer of an additional grant to the PA's general budget:

"After the transfer of the $150 million, the sum which the American administration will have transferred as direct budgetary aid to the PA for 2010 totals $225 million."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 11, 2010]

Although the EU, US and other donors are not intentionally funding salaries for terrorists, their funding of other PA salaries and the budget makes money available in the general budget to pay terrorist salaries.

This Palestinian Authority law was enacted before the recent Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement. It was published in the official PA Registry on April 13, 2011.

The purpose of the PA salary:
1- A monthly salary to the prisoners while in prison "to provide for the needs of prisoners within Israeli prisons"
2- Additional benefits for released prisoners
3- Additional benefits for prisoners' families
4- Additional clause mandates funding "for the prisoners' legal needs"

Recipients: All prisoners involved in terror:
- All prisoners no matter what their crime or what their political/terror group affiliation receive the same monthly base salaries from the PA. According to a report from the PA Ministry of Prisoners, 792 prisoners are currently serving life sentences in Israeli prisons. They all now receive a PA salary.
- The salary goes directly to the terrorist or the terrorist's family.
- The prisoners receive their salary from the time of arrest.

Additional salary:
- Married prisoners receive additional pay, as well as those with children.
- Arabs from Jerusalem and Israeli Arabs who are imprisoned for terror offenses, get an additional supplement of 300 New Israeli Shekels (NIS) and 500 NIS respectively.

- The PA law stipulates that the salaries are dependent on the PA having available cash.

The following is the article in the PA daily describing the new law:

"[Ali Abu Diak,] Secretary of the Central Bureau of the Prisoners' Movement, presented a concise review of the regulations [concerning prisoners] published in vol. 90 of the official PA [Government] Registry, published on April 13, 2011 as follows:

1. Government resolution #19 of 2010...:
A released prisoner will be exempt from tuition fees at government schools and universities if he served a period of five years or more in prison. A released female prisoner who served at least three years in prison will be exempt from tuition fees at government schools and universities. These prisoners are entitled to transfer the exemption to one of their children, or to their spouse...
The Palestinian Authority is committed to providing the opportunity for academic study for prisoners in Israeli prisons, by covering all study expenses for all stages of university study available to prisoners.
A prisoner's children will be exempt from 80% of university tuition fees if the prisoner was sentenced to at least 20 years and has been in prison for at least 5 years. Children of female prisoners will be exempt from 80% of university tuition fees if the prisoner was sentenced to at least 10 years, and has served as least 3 years.
Every released prisoner will be exempt from governmental health insurance if he served at least 5 years in prison, and for female prisoners - at least 3 years. ...

2. Government resolution #21 of 2010, concerning the regulation to provide the needs of prisoners within Israeli prisons:
a. Every prisoner will be paid a uniform sum linked to the cost of living index, as a monthly expenditure ...
b. Every prisoner will be paid a uniform sum of 400 [Israeli] Shekels for clothing. The sum will be paid twice a year, and will be added to the prisoner's salary...

3. Government resolution # 22 of 2010, concerning the regulation to provide the prisoners' legal needs...

4. Government resolution # 23 of 2010 concerning the regulation to pay a monthly salary to the prisoner:
Every prisoner will be granted a monthly salary, to be paid to him or to his family, on condition that he does not receive a salary from a [different] governmental or semi-governmental body or official institution... The salary will be paid to the prisoner from the date of his arrest, and a special supplement will be paid to prisoners from Jerusalem and from the Interior [i.e., Israeli Arabs]; a spousal supplement will be paid, and a special supplement for children up to the age of 18...
The minimum salary for a prisoner, to be paid to him from the beginning of his detention and for up to 3 years, is 1400 Shekels. Prisoners who have been imprisoned between 3 and 5 years will be paid 2,000 Shekels. Those imprisoned between 5 and 10 years will be paid 4,000 Shekels. Those imprisoned between 10 and 15 years will be paid 6,000 Shekels. Those imprisoned between 15 and 20 years will be paid 7,000 Shekels. Those imprisoned between 20 and 25 years will be paid 8,000 Shekels. Those imprisoned between 25 and 30 years will be paid 10,000 Shekels. Those who have been imprisoned 30 years or more will be paid 12,000 Shekels.
A supplement of 300 Shekels will be added to the salary of every married prisoner, as well as a supplement for children up to the age of 18 in the amount of 50 Shekels for every boy or girl, in addition to a supplement for prisoners from Jerusalem in the amount of 300 Shekels, and a supplement for prisoners from the Interior [i.e., Israeli Arabs] in the amount of 500 Shekels ...
These regulations will be implemented from Jan. 1, 2011, on the basis of available sources of funding."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 15, 2011]
List of donor countries who contribute to PA's general budget

The list includes only those contributions reported in the PA press, and which were designated to the PA's general budget in 2010 or 2011. The list does not include the many other contributions made to the PA by these and other donor countries:



 European Union 158.5 million euros Al-Hayat Al- Jadida, January 20, 2010
 Britain 60 million British pounds Al-Ayyam, February 11, 2010
 India 10 million dollars Al-Hayat Al- Jadida, April 26, 2010
 Norway 53 million dollars Al-Hayat Al- Jadida, June 18, 2010
 France 23 million euros Al-Hayat Al- Jadida, June 22, 2010
 World Bank 40 million dollars Al-Hayat Al- Jadida, October 1, 2010
 Japan 18.5 million dollars Al-Hayat Al- Jadida, October 25, 2010
 European Union 41.4 million euros Al-Hayat Al- Jadida, October 28, 2010
 Britain 30 million British pounds Al-Hayat Al- Jadida, October 28, 2010
 United States 225 million dollars Al-Hayat Al- Jadida, November 11, 2010
 Ireland 1.5 million euros Al-Hayat Al- Jadida, November 15, 2010
 Japan 11.9 million dollars Al-Hayat Al- Jadida, December 28, 2010

The following is the report in the official PA daily calling prisoners "heroic":




"Family members of prisoners expressed heartfelt thanks to the directorate and staff of Voice of the Prisoners Radio, via the program 'On Birds' Wings', which is broadcast on Voice of the Prisoners. This [thanks] was due to the significant positive effect [of the station] on the mental state of the prisoners and their families, and especially the family members of prisoners who are not allowed visits. The families of the prisoners told the Prisoners' Center for Studies that Voice of the Prisoners, [at] FM 107.9, represents an extremely important struggle and breaks the will of the prison guard in the face of the determination of the Palestinian people, which invents all methods of resistance, first and foremost the role of the media, considering the occupation's violations against the prisoners, and especially the withholding of visits for more than four years. The families of prisoners in solitary confinement, first and foremost the family of the prisoner Commander Ahmad Sa'adat, and the heroic prisoners Abbas and Abdallah Barghouti, Mahmoud Issa, Jamal Abu Al-Haija, Hassan Salameh and others, said that their sons wait for the program 'On Birds' Wings'."


[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 13, 2011]

Abdallah Barghouti - sentenced to 67 life sentences for involvement in terror attacks in which 66 Israelis were murdered - Sbarro restaurant (Aug. 9, 2001), Moment Café (March 9, 2002), and the triple attack at the Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall (Dec. 1, 2001).

Jamal Abu Al-Hijja - 9 life sentences for involvement in suicide attacks in Hadera shopping mall (Oct. 26, 2005) and at Herzl Street in Netanya (Dec. 5, 2005)

Hassan Salameh - 46 life sentences. Was head of the terror infrastructure which carried out 2 attacks on no. 18 buses in Jerusalem (First attack on Feb. 25, 1996. Second attack on March 3, 1996), and the attack at the Ashkelon Junction hitchhike point (Feb. 25, 1996).

Mahmoud Issa - serving 3 life sentences. Member of the squad that kidnapped and murdered Israeli soldiers, including Nissim Toledano (Dec. 13, 1992).

PMW has not been able to find any information concerning Abbas Barghouti.

Excerpt from EU's announcement of additional aid to the PA:


"EU Commission approves additional € 85 million in support for Palestinian people in 2011"
"Summary: The European Commission has today decided to provide an additional financial package worth EUR 85 million for the occupied Palestinian territory under the 2011 budget. This comes in addition to the € 100 million already approved from European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument.
Some EUR 45 million of the funds from today's decision will go towards salaries and pensions of vital workers, mainly doctors, nurses and teachers. A further EUR 40 million will be allocated for social allowances to vulnerable Palestinian families. These funds come in addition to the EUR 60 million provided to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the EUR 40 million provided to United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) at the beginning of the year. At the request of Prime Minister Fayyad these funds have been advanced by an accelerated procedure in order to meet the Authority's urgent financial needs and to respect the EU's commitment to being a regular and reliable donor."


Accessed May 9, 2011]