The Palestinian Authority (PA) has significantly increased its payments to terrorists in 2017, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reported Wednesday, citing a PA budget report.
The PA report, which notes a 13-percent budget increase in salaries for Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails and a 4-percent increase in payments to the families of Palestinian terrorists, comes as Israel, the U.S. and others continue to demand an end to the PA’s financial support for terror.
Direct PA funding of payments to terrorist prisoners in 2017 amounts to $158 million, which represents a “huge” increase from $135 million in 2016, PMW said. Additionally, the PA’s payments for terrorists’ families have risen from a total of $183 million last year to $197 million this year, bringing the PA’s total annual expenditure on terror payments to $355 million in 2017.
The Taylor Force Act, spearheaded by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) in their respective chambers of Congress, would make U.S. aid to the Palestinians conditional upon the PA halting its payments to terrorists and their families. The bill is named for a former U.S. Army officer who was killed in a Palestinian terror attack in Jaffa last year.
During a July 12 Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the proposed legislation, the majority of committee members expressed concern about the PA’s terror payments and indicated they are seeking to help end the policy. At the same time, some leading Senate Democrats and Republicans expressed reservations about the bill. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) questioned the legislation’s “all or nothing” approach, and suggested Israel would not necessarily support cutting funding to the PA due to fear of the PA being weakened.