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

Will the Palestinian Authority Stop Paying Terrorists? End the “Pay to Slay” Program?

Filed under: Palestinians

Will the Palestinian Authority Stop Paying Terrorists? End the “Pay to Slay” Program?
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas celebrated with released prisoners in 2013. (Euronews screenshot)

In a bold move to refurbish their sullied image in Washington, the Palestinians are laying the groundwork for an overhaul to one of their most cherished but controversial practices: compensating those who serve time in Israeli prisons, including for violent attacks [“Pay to Slay”] …. The plan, which has not been publicly announced, is only the latest in a flurry of moves the Palestinians are making to try to reboot their international relations. – (The New York Times, November 19, 20201)

Did the Palestinian Authority (PA) get the message that the world and the United States will not tolerate their “Pay to Slay” policy anymore? News reports claim that the change is under consideration, but we have to watch carefully what they actually do. Recruiting ex-terrorists to the PA, just because they were convicted terrorists, and especially recruiting them to the security apparatuses, is dangerous in many respects. It does not change anything in the context of rewarding them; it gives them access to weapons and even intelligence information.

Such recruitment is the exact opposite of fighting terror, which is the mission of the security forces. It means that the Americans and Europeans who finance the PA’s security forces will now pay salaries directly to the terrorists.

Regarding setting the payments to the arrested terrorists based on economic needs, if it means that the welfare allocations will be similar to those of needy families, which are less than a tenth of what the terrorists earn, it is a step forward. If not, this is a trick.

Moreover, the PA must annul the law establishing the terrorist entitlement program. This is necessary to signal Palestinian seriousness and readiness to abide by the American Taylor Force Act.

Will they do it? I have doubts.

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