|Abdullah Barghouti built
and delivered the guitar-case bomb that |
killed our daughter and fourteen other innocents.
The PA pays him a growing monthly stipend.
The symbolism is powerful. And sickening.
A year ago, the New York Times reported that the PA had managed to run up a deficit of more than half a billion US dollars in 2011 alone, and was borrowing heavily from unspecified banks. The financial crisis, according to PA prime minister and famed economist Salam Fayyad, was due to the failure of the PA's sovereign friends to make good on their pledges. "Of the $971 million pledged by donors for this year, $330 million of it has been paid so far," said the July 2011 report, quickly adding that "Fayyad said the current financial crisis had no bearing on the Palestinians’ readiness for independence".
Ready for independence or not, the PA has now managed to run up an electricity tab of more than NIS 700 million. That's how much they owed the Israel Electric Company as of September 1, 2012. Today Israel's minister for energy said he will be instructing the IEC "to take all necessary steps to collect these debts, with all the implications that may arise”. Does he mean to turn off the power to the Abbas regime? Maybe.
"The accumulated electricity debt is another sign of the Palestinian Authority’s mounting cash crunch, which it largely blames on a sharp reduction in foreign aid since 2011" [Source: The Times of Israel today.]In tough economic times, you make tough economic decisions. Unless you're the Palestinian Authority. Contemplate this report from tonight's news:
Cash-strapped PA spends $4.5 million per month paying Palestinians in Israeli jails
Despite the Palestinian Authority’s , it spends tens of millions of shekels on paying security prisoners held in Israeli jails, and last year Prime Minister Salam Fayyad tripled their monthly pay. Starting in 2003, Palestinian law mandated the dispensation of a monthly salary of NIS 1,000 to security detainees sentenced up to five years in prison. A life sentence earned NIS 4,000 per month. An amendment of the law in January 2011 enacted by Fayyad increased the salaries by an average of 300%, Channel 2 reported on Monday [today]. As of May 2011, the PA spent NIS 18 million ($4.5 million) per month on compensating Palestinian inmates in Israeli prisons. A prisoner sentenced up to three years in prison received a base salary of NIS 1,400 per month, for 3-5 years that rate increased to NIS 2,000. A NIS 300 bonus is added for a wife, and NIS 50 per child. According to the Channel 2 report, the PA-funded salaries are an equal opportunity benefit; members of Fatah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad all receive them. [The Channel 2 news report in Hebrew is here]
- "Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip receive one of the highest levels of aid in the world..." [Wikipedia]
- In the last five years, the U.S. government has poured at least $4 billion in aid to the Palestinians, with very little to show in return – except more terror and corruption... Since 2008, annual U.S. bilateral assistance to the PA has averaged over $600 million, including $513 million for the current budgetary year... Time has now long come to ask whether the U.S. should continue funding at all. Last week [April 2012], in a virtually unprecedented move, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton overruled a House Foreign Affairs Committee hold on $59 million in funding to the Palestinian Authority (PA), thus blatantly disregarding the integrity of Congress. The money was ‘held’ by request of Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fl), largely out of concern it may reach the hands of Hamas and be used to commit acts of terror against Israel and the United States. According to a State Department official, Secretary Clinton released the funds, because they were viewed as providing “critical support to the Palestinian people and those leaders seeking to combat extremism within their society and build a more stable future.” [Source: Time for the U.S. to Stop Funding the Palestinian Authority, April 20, 2012. Author: Arsen Ostrovsky]
- In the 2008 Paris Conference [source], 11% of the pledges for the PA came from the US and Canada, 53% from Europe... and a mere 20% from the Arab countries - much of which was never delivered.
- "The majority of aid to the Palestinian Authority comes from the United States and European Union. According to figures released by the PA, only 22 percent of the $530,000,000 received since the beginning of 2010 came from Arab donors. The remainder came from Western donors and organizations. The total amount of foreign aid received directly by the PA was $1.4 billion in 2009 and $1.8 billion in 2008. [Source]"
The PA is chronically short of funds, and is perpetually requesting handouts. Yet it has sufficient disposable cash to make the decision this week to channel funds to the terrorists sitting in Israeli prisons. Evidently Mahmoud Abbas and his cohorts have a sound understanding of the message they want to convey to their people, and how best to deliver it. It's humiliating that we, victims of these convicted jihadist terrorists, parents of murdered children, have to raise our voices about this - and evidently we are alone in doing so. Where are the European, American and Australian voices of outrage at what is being done with taxpayer funded aid money, and in their names?