The Palestinian government spends nearly $140 million annually on salaries to convicted terrorists held in Israel, according to a testimony by the president of the Middle East Media Research Institute to the House of Representatives Wednesday.
The Palestinian National Authority also allocates $170 million to families of so called “martyrs” who died fighting Israel. The organization allocates money to not “discriminate,” meaning suicide bombers of designated terrorist organizations like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are eligible for funding. The Palestinian Authority (PA) receives billions of dollars annually from the international community.
The United States provides significant economic aid to the Palestinian Authority to incentivize peace and curb violence against Israel. “By providing this support, the PA is encouraging terrorism in violation of its Oslo commitment,” Yigal Carmon said to the committee in his testimony.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly said “the prisoners are top priority” in reference to Palestinian terrorists held in Israeli government custody. The funds could subsidize terrorists like the man who killed a 13-year-old dual Israeli-American citizen June 30. There have been hundreds of attacks throughout Israel, and terrorists have resorted to using knives and their own cars as weapons.
Two Palestinian gunmen disguised themselves as religious Jews in early June, killing four Israelis in a crowded marketplace. Jerusalem suffered its first major suicide bombing by a Hamas terrorist in nearly a decade back in April. A UN Middle East Quartet report noted that 30 Israelis were killed in nearly 250 independent attacks.
Palestinian terrorist organizations are beginning to develop stronger ties with Islamic State. Senior intelligence officials told the Wall Street Journal that ISIS’s Egyptian affiliate has developed ties with Hamas’s terrorist government in the Gaza strip — threatening both Israel and Egypt.
Israeli officials said the cooperation between ISIS and Hamas extended as far as military training, though Hamas officials have denied any involvement with ISIS in the Sinai peninsula. ISIS’s Egyptian affiliate was also likely responsible for downing a Russian jet with 224 people on board in October 2015.
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