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Palestinian Authority Terrorism-related Payments To Top $400 million in 2018

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas approved a new 2018 budget that will raise the stipends paid to imprisoned terrorists and to the families of Palestinians killed in clashes with Israeli security forces to $403 million; this, in accordance with a PA law stipulating that 7% of the annual budget be allocated towards this cause. The development was revealed by the chairman of the Israeli government’s powerful Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee during a vote on a law aimed at discouraging the practice. The bill, which passed a first of three readings, would require the state to deduct the amount the PA pays to terrorists and their families from the taxes and tariffs Israel collects on its behalf. The proposal was inspired by the Taylor Force Act, U.S. legislation named after an American citizen killed exactly two years ago today in a Palestinian terror attack in Tel Aviv, that would cut-off aid to the PA until the payments are stopped. According to internal Palestinian data, the PA paid some $350 million to tens of thousands of terrorists and their families in 2017—and the longer the prison sentence, the greater the stipend disbursed. Specifically, Palestinians jailed in Israel between 3 and 5 years receive about $600 per month, approximately equal to the average wage in the West Bank. Those sentenced to twenty-plus years are paid nearly $3000 per month—more than the average salary in Israel—in perpetuity; that is, unless they are married, have children, or come from eastern Jerusalem, in which case they are eligible for monetary bonuses.