Conservative MPs have condemned the Palestinian Authority’s continued payment of salaries to Palestinian convicted prisoners and a Daily Express report this weekend, calling on the PA to cease the “abhorrent practice of financially rewarding and incentivising terrorism”.
Following a visit to London by Palestinian Media Watch director Itamar Marcus, it was revealed that the Palestinian Authority has given £84 million a year to convicted terrorists. The UK has provided the Palestinian Authority £130 million in foreign aid from the Department of International Development over the past five years.
In a joint statement, Guto Bebb MP, James Morris MP and Andrew Percy MP said:
The PA should be strongly condemned for deceiving well-intentioned donor countries into thinking that it had ended this shocking practice.
The British Government must seriously reconsider its provision of aid to the PA’s general budget until it ceases this abhorrent practice of financially rewarding and incentivising terrorism
The PA’s practice of paying large salaries to jailed terrorists in Israeli prisons was first exposed by PMW in 2011, and it is estimated that around 5,500 Palestinian terrorists could currently be drawing salaries and bonuses.
Among those that are eligible to receive the salaries are Abdullah Barghouti, Hassan Salameh and Jamal Abu Al-Hijja who are serving 122 life sentences between them for planning suicide bombings. Some of the longest serving prisoners receive up to £2,000 a month plus bonuses for their wives and children.
According to the report, grants on release can be as much as £50,000, which dwarfs the £300 average monthly wage in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
PMW director, Itamar Marcus this week presented a report on the issue to the British, Dutch and German parliaments. Mr Marcus told MPs that Palestinian political leaders last year ordered the payments be halted after an outcry from Western donors. Although PresidentAbbas publicly ordered the Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs to halt the payments, he then passed on the duty to the specially created Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs run by the Palestine Liberation Organisation.
Mr Marcus said:
The existence of the PLO Commission has not changed the PA practice of paying salaries to terrorists. The PA continues to reward and pay salaries to terrorists in prison in spite of European and US demands that donor money to the PA not be used to reward terrorists
Click here to read the full Daily Express report.