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

The Fight against “Pay to Slay”

Filed under: Israel, Israeli Security, Terrorism, U.S. Policy


Why it is necessary to stop “Pay to Slay” by the PA. Where do we go from here?

Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser – Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Amb. Dore Gold – President, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

The new American attitude and its repercussions

Sander Gerber – Jerusalem Center Fellow

How Palestinian Media Watch efforts affect “Pay to Slay”

Lt.-Col. (res.) Maurice Hirsch, Adv. – Head of Legal Strategies at Palestinian Media Watch

The impact of “Pay to Slay” on Israel’s security

Brig.-Gen. (res.) Amir Avivi – CEO of HaBithonistim (group of senior Israeli security officials)

Accompanying comments

Lt. Col. (res.) Maurice Hirsch, Adv.

The Palestinian Authority policy of paying financial rewards to terrorists is divided into two clear categories: The payment of monthly rewards to imprisoned and released terrorists; and the payment of monthly allowances to the families of dead terrorists – so-called “Martyrs” – and to wounded terrorists. The PA terror reward policy is often referred to as the PA’s “Pay to Slay” policy. As Palestinian Media Watch has demonstrated, the payments are an expression of the fact that the PA sees the terrorists as its “soldiers,” sent by the PA, to carry out the bidding of the PA

The PA payments to the terrorist prisoners is codified and entrenched in the 2004 PA Law of Prisoners and Released Prisoners, and its implementing regulations. The monthly salaries the PA pays to the imprisoned terrorists start at 1,400 NIS (circa $428) and rise with time spent in prison to 12,000 NIS (circa $3,672). Terrorists who are married, or have children, or are Israeli residents/citizens receive an additional payment. Released terrorists who spend more than 5 years (in a single term or cumulatively) in prison are entitled to a guaranteed salary from the PA for the rest of their lives. Both the imprisoned and released terrorists are entitled to many other additional benefits, purely as a result of their participation in terror and their incarceration.


The PA pays the families of the dead terrorists a monthly allowance of 1,400 NIS (circa $428), with additions for dead terrorists who were married, had children, or were Israeli residents/citizens.


Wounded terrorists receive payment commensurate with the degree of injury.

The PA payments to the terrorists are not welfare payments: There is no needs-based criteria for receiving the payments; a terrorist from a wealthy background receives the same monthly payment as an indigent terrorist; the PA maintains a separate system for providing welfare payments that do not include the terrorists. The PA payments to the terrorists are much higher than the welfare payments the PA pays to the truly needy Palestinians.

Statements given by terrorists under interrogation for their participation in acts of terror prove that the payments are an incentive to carry out attacks.

Every terrorist, regardless of their terror affiliations or the identity of their victims, is paid by the PA. Thus, terrorists who are members of US/EU designated terror organizations, such as Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, receive financial rewards from the PA not only for murdering Israeli Jews but also for murdering the U.S. and European non–Jews.

To combat the PA “Pay to Slay” policy the US adopted legislation – inter alia, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, passed in December 2015, and the Taylor Force Act, passed in March 2018 – limiting US aid to the PA. Rejecting the legislation, the PA positively chose to continue rewarding terrorists over receiving US aid.

Israeli law – the Law to freeze money that the Palestinian Authority has paid in connection with terrorism from the money transferred to it by the government of Israel, 2018, passed in July 2018, and the Anti-Terror Law passed in 2016 and adopted in Judea and Samaria in 2020 –provides a solid basis to impose financial penalties on the PA for its pugnacious policy. The law further allows for the personal prosecution of any person involved in the “Pay to Slay” scheme and seizure of all the funds.