Lawmakers and experts assembled at a Capitol Hill hearing on Wednesday expressed outrage over the Palestinian Authority’s policy of financially rewarding terrorist attacks against Israelis. The PA provides paychecks for Palestinian terrorists who are imprisoned in Israel, as well as money for their families and the families of those killed while committing acts of terror, thereby providing a strong financial incentive for individuals to perpetrate acts of violence against Israelis. The more deadly the attack and the longer their prison sentence, the higher the salary the prisoner receives. Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) referred to the program as “pay to slay,” while Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) warned that Palestinians “will never achieve their state on the backs of terrorism.” Both congressmen condemned incitement in Palestinian society, including in schools, mosques, and official PA television and newspapers, which cultivates hatred of Jews and dehumanizes Israelis.
Yigal Carmon, president and founder of the Middle East Media Research Institute, testified that the PA provides around $300 million per year to terrorists and their families. This violates the Oslo Accords, in which the Palestinian leadership committed to halting terrorist activity. According to a recent report on Israel Radio, most prisoners in Israeli jails who receive PA money are Hamas members who were responsible for some of the bloodiest terrorist attacks of the Second Intifada.
Since the PA has been using money from Western donor countries to support Palestinian prisoners and their families, Carmon argued, this makes donor countries “complicit in encouraging terrorism as well.” He explained that in 2014, in order to mislead donor countries who were putting pressure on the PA to stop rewarding terrorism, the PA transferred the role of distribution of money from a ministry in the PA to a commission in the PLO. However, the PA remains the source of the funding, and the official in charge remains the same.
The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs estimated in 2014 that the payments to terrorists and their families account for approximately 5% of the Palestinian Authority's total budget, while Carmon estimated it could be as high as 10%. According to Carmon, the prisoners’ “years of imprisonment are calculated as years of seniority of service in PA institutions,” and those “imprisoned for five years or more are entitled to a job in a PA institution.” According to an appropriations law passed last December, the State Department will cut PA funding by the amount that the Palestinian governing body gives to incarcerated terrorists and the families of those who died committing acts of terrorism.
One year after it signed the nuclear deal, Iran is still attempting to secretly procure illicit nuclear technology and equipment, Germany’s domestic intelligence agency revealed last week. In its 317-page annual report, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, known by its German acronym BfV, said that Iran is engaging in “illegal proliferation-sensitive procurement activities in Germany … at what is, even by international standards, a quantitatively high level.”The report noted “a further increase in the already considerable procurement efforts in connection with Iran’s ambitious missile technology program which could, among other things, potentially serve to deliver nuclear weapons. Against this backdrop it is safe to expect that Iran will continue it sensitive procurement activities in Germany using clandestine methods to achieve its objectives.” It also identified over 1,000 associates of Iran-backed terrorist groups that live in Germany, including about 950 members and supporters of Hezbollah and 300 members of Hamas.
“The followers of Islamist-terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah striving for the abolition of the Jewish State of Israel are focused on their regions of origin, which is where they commit most of their terrorist acts of violence,” the report stated. The report was emphasized by German Chancellor Angela Merkel during her address to the German parliament on Thursday.
“Iran continued unabated to develop its rocket program in conflict with the relevant provisions of the UN Security Council,” Merkel told lawmakers. She added that the anti-missile system NATO deployed in Romania and the system it planned to deploy in Poland were “developed purely for defense” in response to Iran’s illicit military rocket program. The BfV’s recent intelligence report echoes one that it issued last year, when it warned that Iran was still trying to procure illicit technology for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, despite then-ongoing nuclear negotiations with world powers. (via TheTower.org)