British MPs call for suspension of aid to the PA until payments to terrorists cease
Palestinians 'give our foreign aid money to convicted terrorists': Cash 'is given to inmates in Israeli prisons'
- Taxpayers' cash used to pay £80million a year to Palestinian Authority
- Authority, in turn, spends money on convicted terrorists in Israeli jails
- Israeli groups says longest serving inmates receive £2,075 per month
- Further payments of tens of thousands can be made following release
- It is claimed up to 5,000 convicts may be receiving salaries and bonuses
by Jack Doyle
British aid money given to the Palestinian Authority allows it to make payments to convicted terrorists, it was claimed last night.
Taxpayers’ money has been used by the Department for International Development (DfID) to pay out around £80million a year to the Palestinian Authority. The authority, in turn, spends money on convicted terrorists locked up in Israeli prisons.
An Israeli group claims the longest serving prisoners receive around £2,075 a month, plus bonuses for their wives and children. Further payments of tens of thousands of pounds can be made when Palestinian prisoners are released from jail. It is claimed up to 5,000 convicts could be in receipt of salaries and bonuses.
The suggestion is not that British aid money is directly going to terrorists’ pockets, but that it supports the Palestinian Authority more generally.
Tory MP Sir Gerald Howarth has called for Britain to suspend all aid to the Authority until payments to terrorists cease
Questions about British aid money were raised with British diplomats during David Cameron's recent visit to Israel.
|Speaking out: Sir Gerald Howarth (left) has called for Britain to suspend all aid to the Authority until payments to terrorists cease. Questions about British aid were raised during David Cameron's (right) recent visit to Israel|
Tory MP Sir Gerald Howarth has called for Britain to suspend all aid to the Authority until payments to terrorists cease.
‘The Palestinian Authority is putting two fingers up to the British taxpayer,’ he said. ‘It is not the job of the hardworking British taxpayer to fund payments to terrorists.’
But a spokesman for DfID said: ‘UK taxpayer funds do not pay for Palestinian prisoners.
British funding to the Palestinian Authority is used for the sole purpose of paying the salaries of civil servants, who are responsible for providing health, education and other essential services, including security. The process is subject to independent audit.’
Questions about British aid money were raised with British diplomats during David Cameron’s recent visit to Israel.
Other countries, such as Canada, refuse to make payments to the Palestinian Authority, instead directly funding projects run by aid organisations.
The claims were made by the Israeli group Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) which examines statements by the Palestinian Authority from newspapers.
The salaries are reserved for those ‘resisting the occupation’ of lands the Palestinians regard as rightly theirs but which are part of the Israeli state.
PMW said grants on release can be as much as £50,000. That compares to an average Palestinian wage of about £300 a month.
Last year, the Palestinian Authority paid more than £60million to convicted terrorists, of which some £9million was paid as a lump sum when prisoners were released. This release pot is to be increased to £27million.
In the four years to 2015 Britain will donate some £343million to the Palestinian Authority, whose £2.5billion budget is 40 per cent international aid.
Among those in receipt of money are thought to include Abdullah Barghouti, who is serving multiple life sentences for attacks that killed 67 Israelis in 2001 and 2002, including at least seven children.