The payment that Hamas promised to its terrorists –10,000 dollars if they managed to return to Gaza with a kidnapped person– it is not an isolated event nor an exceptional situation: the Palestinian National Authority pays all those who murder Israelis or, if they are killed while committing their crimes, their families and heirs. This is how the ANP seeks peace with Israel.
And, we must insist on this: we are not talking about Hamas, but about the ANP, internationally recognized and whose president, Mahmoud Abbasyesand met with Pedro Sánchez last Saturday.
And it is not something that the ANP worries about hiding either: there is a budget program dedicated to it, laws that protect it and a bureaucratic office that according to some sources has 500 employees: This is “Pay to kill”as its critics call it, the most sinister face of official Palestine.
A long tradition made law
The payments to the terrorists are much earlier, but in 2004 they were formalized with a law –amended in 2013–, which covers under its umbrella both people residing in the Palestinian territories and citizens of Israel of Arab origin.
The person in charge of this item for years was the Ministry for Affairs of Detainees and Former Detainees of the ANP, heir to a fund that the PLO created for this back in the sixties, in this case to reward the fedayeen, the terrorists who They infiltrated Israel as groups of guerrillas from Syria and Egypt, wounded or killed in combat with the Israeli army.
After there began to be external pressure to stop these payments, the name of the portfolio was changed, which is now simply Ministry of Prisonsbut its function has not been modified.
8% of the budget
The last year for which we have been able to find figures is 2017, at that time these payments to terrorists represented 355 million dollars, 8% of the ANP’s total budget. To have an idea of what this percentage of expenditure represents, in Spain approximately 8% of the PGE It is dedicated to the sum of the Unemployment, Defense and Infrastructure items.
According to a detailed EMET reportan American lobby dedicated to providing information about the Middle East to Congress, this item is divided into two: one that is dedicated to the prisoners and which in 2016 was 158 million and another dedicated to the families of the terrorists who died during their attacks that It was 197 million.
The total budget would have risen 12% from 2016 to 2017, Therefore, if this growth rate is maintained in 2020, it would be very close to 500 million. If, on the other hand, it remained at 8% of the budget, which, according to the latest available data, would reach 5,000 million that year, the amount would remain at ‘only’ about 400 million dollars.
Up to $3,429 per month ‘salary’
The money given to terrorists in prison varies depending on the length of the sentence they are serving. For those who have been sentenced to up to three years, the pay is $400 a monthalready higher than the average salary in the West Bank, which would be around $360.
But the figures grow if the sentences are longer: from three to five years it reaches $570, those who spend between five and ten years behind bars already earn $1,142 and the largest figure is for those who have been sentenced to more. 30 years old, who They receive $3,429 a month, almost ten times the average salary.
But that’s not all: in addition to their salary, prisoners receive a one-time bonus when they leave prison, which, in the case of those who stay there the longest, reaches $25,000.
An expense that the Palestinians approve
It is not very surprising to see that the majority of Palestinians agreed with this spending, at least a few years ago: according to a survey carried out in May 2017 by a polling company in the West Bank itself, 65.9% of Palestinians In the territories controlled by the ANP they approve of this departure, a figure that was even higher in Gaza: 67.2%.
With these figures of support it is not surprising that Palestinian political leaders have defended their payments to terrorists even in public statements, for example Mahmoud Abbas himself assured that “I will not put the salary of a martyr or a prisoner at risk” even if that meant “having to leave my position.”
Likewise, an ANP Minister of Information also said that the “martyrs deserve their salaries because they are not highway thieves, they are people who have sacrificed their lives and freedom“.