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Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Strategic Alliances for a Secure, Connected, and Prosperous Region

Question of the Day: Did the Palestinian Authority Really Cut Off Payments to Terrorist Prisoners?

Filed under: Hamas, Palestinians, U.S. Policy

Did the Palestinian Authority Really Cut Off Payments to Terrorist Prisoners?

Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser

It sounds true to me.

Today, the PA’s relations with Hamas are strained. The Authority has taken various steps against Hamas in Gaza, such as refusing to pay their electricity bill and the salaries of their employees. In addition, Iran and Qatar have just committed to help Hamas financially, so why should the PA pay too? And above all. The PA can use this step to ease President Trump’s pressure. Appeasing Trump is so important that Jibril Rajoub, a senior Palestinian politician and contender to succeed Mahmoud Abbas, said on Israeli Channel 2 that they are ready to permit Jewish sovereignty over the Western Wall.

What do we learn from all of this?

First of all we have here a confirmation from Hamas that until now the PA was paying nice salaries to the released terrorists, and we know that they keep paying those salaries to many more incarcerated terrorists and released terrorists, as well as to the families of Palestinians who died in the context of the fight against Zionism.

Secondly, and no less important, we see that pressure works – the U.S. Congress’ Taylor Force Act and Netanyahu insistence convinced President Trump to put the pressure on Abbas, and the PA reacted positively to it. The United States should put on even more pressure to force the Palestinians to take real steps and make sure that they fully comply with the need to stop paying salaries to terrorists. The PA should not get away with these minimal steps that they have taken.