No less than $136 million was paid during 2018 by the Palestinian Authority to convicted terrorists.
The figure comes from the PA’s own budgetary update, according to Palestinian Media Watch.
The salaries were paid to terrorist prisoners and released terrorist prisoners.
PMW explained that while the PA does not disclose how the money was allocated between the terrorist prisoners and the released terrorist prisoners, using open sources only, PMW calculated the figures.
The report said that based on information from the Israeli Prison Service, in January 2018 alone the PA paid nearly $5.4 million in salaries to imprisoned terrorists.
For 2018, the PA paid about $48 million to released terrorist prisoners.
The issue has stirred international controversy, because the PA is heavily funded by Western nations. The U.S. has put the brakes on its donations because of the terrorist payments, as has Israel. Several other countries also have raised concerns.
PMW said prisoners who were members of the Palestinian security services when arrested and who received a higher salary than the salary the PA pays terrorist prisoners, continue to receive the higher salary in prison.
The PA pays these terrorist prisoners from a different budget, PMW said. The media monitor added that it has no way of confirming how many of the terrorist prisoners belong to that category.
“In addition, PMW’s calculations are based on the current length of prison time served by each prisoner. Under PA law, prisoners with prior arrests will be receiving a higher salary from the first day of their later arrests, according to the total time served already. PMW has no way of confirming how many of the terrorist prisoners belong to this category.”
Additionally, PMW said, the Israeli Prison Service “was unable to provide exact statistics how many terrorist prisoners have spent more than 20 years in prison or how long each of the terrorist prisoners serving life sentences have already spent in prison.”
“The limitations of the IPS statistics required PMW to make a number of lenient assumptions – based on PA and pro-Palestinian NGO sources – regarding the number of prisoners who have been in prison for 25-30 years and over 30 years. Similarly, while the IPS did confirm that at least 486 terrorist prisoners serving life sentences have been in prison for over 10 years, the IPS was unable to provide further clarification. Accordingly, while there are definitely terrorist prisoners sentenced to life sentences who have spent more than 15 years in prison, which would entitle them to a higher salary, PMW attributed all the prisoners serving life sentences with a salary of only 6,000 shekels per month.”
The report said Israel’s parliament last summer passed a law to penalize the PA for paying terrorists.
The law requires an annual report of PA payments to terrorists, either in prison or released, and the families of those who die in terror attacks.
Once approved, the government deducts that amount from what the PA collects in taxes and transfers to the PA.
The first such report is due in coming days.
The PMW noted that the figures do not include any of the payments to families of dead terrorists.
The PA allocated $187 million for the families as well as the wounded and civilians who were killed but were not involved in terror.