Israel’s Economy Minister Naftali Bennett pledged on Wednesday to stop the “perverse phenomenon” of salaries paid to terrorists by the Palestinian Authority.
“Did you murder Jews? Have you abducted children? Get up to 12,000 shekels per month from [PA President] Abbas,” Bennett wrote on his Facebook page. “Meet Abbas’s ‘preferred employment’ track: murderers, terrorists and child abductors.”
“Whoever abducts children on their way home from school knows he has nothing to lose. At the end of the day, he has a warm hug from the PA waiting for him and a good salary,” he added.
The PA pays the salaries monthly to terror operatives serving time in Israeli jails and Bennett noted that the convicts get paid well. A terrorist who serves 5 to 10 years earns 4,000 NIS a month while one who is serving 25-30 years receives 10,000 NIS monthly, he said.
Some of the most brutal killers who are serving out terms of more than 30 years, such as Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, receive 12,000 NIS per month from the PA, according to Bennett. In addition, every Palestinian held by Israel receives 400 NIS twice a year for personal expenses. There is also a bonus for married terrorists and a special supplement depending on the number of children they have.
Bennett said the funding comes from European and other countries “that turn a blind eye and allow their money to fund terrorists’ salaries and pensions in a roundabout path through the PA or PLO.”
“The more you murder, the more time you are sitting in prison, the more money you receive,” he told his Facebook followers. “About 4,000 freed prisoners continue to receive salaries after their release. The ‘preferred employment’ plan also has a pension.”
Bennett also mentioned Ziad Awad — one of the convicts released two years ago in exchange for IDF hostage Gilad Shalit – who was recently rearrested for the murder of senior Israeli police officer Baruch Mizrahi. Awad received a salary from the PA during his first imprisonment, was released and began to receive a freed terrorist’s salary. Bennett said, “Now his conditions will again improve in Abu Mazen’s ‘preferred employment’ scheme. After all, he murdered a Jew and has returned to prison. Amazing job.”
“The system is simple: With one hand, Abbas ‘condemns’ the kidnapping, and with the other hand he encourages more kidnappings by distributing cash to terrorists,” he added.
Bennett said he is aware of “problematic” legal obstacles he may face in attempting to block the payments, but he reassured his online followers that legal measures can be taken to stop the handouts.
“I am not aware of a subject less legal than encouraging terrorism through money,” he concluded.