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PMW in the Media
Daily Mail: PA uses UK aid for salaries to terrorists, as exposed by PMW
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Daily Mail: PA uses UK aid for salaries to terrorists,
as exposed by PMW



Ian Birrell for the Mail On Sunday
March 26, 2016

Ahmad Musa sits beside me, a convicted double murderer sentenced to life in prison. As we talk, I ask him if he did indeed kill the two men. ‘Yes, I shot them dead,’ he replies.
Yet we do not meet in a jail cell. Musa is free, released after just five years. For he is a Palestinian terrorist and he was liberated under a peace deal.

Like thousands more Palestinian prisoners, including jihadi bombers and killers of children, Musa enjoys his freedom after being awarded a ‘salary’ for life. He gets £605 every month, others get far more. If they die, the cash goes to their family. These men are seen as terrorists, certainly by Israel, and many in the West

But, astonishingly, the money behind these payments – described by some as ‘rewards for murder’ – flows from British and European taxpayers.8

The UK cash comes from the Department for International Development, which will give up to £25.5million this year to the ruling Palestinian Authority (PA) as part of a £72million aid package. Our investigation discovered that the PA passes millions on to the infamous Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) – which in turn gives it to convicted terrorists locked up in Israeli prisons and their families...

British aid money is supposed to be rebuilding and developing the Palestinian territories. However a devastating new report to be released this week by Palestinian Media Watch, an Israeli NGO, suggests that Western donors have been duped by assertions that the Authority no longer funds terrorists.

Some Hamas terrorist masterminds have reportedly been given more than £100,000. Other ‘salaries’ go to relatives of suicide bombers and even teenagers involved in the latest upsurge of deadly attacks on Israel. Several ex-prisoners confirmed to me that they were paid monthly stipends that started in jail.

One said they also received a ‘bonus’ on leaving prison and lucrative civil service job offers, the most senior posts going to those serving more than 15 years behind bars, even though they are not qualified.

PA officials openly defend such stipends. Amr Nasser, adviser to the minister of social affairs, said: ‘It is not a crime to be fighting occupation. These people are heroes. ‘We could be giving them much more money and it would not be enough.’ Nasser added that, if Palestine won independence, the government would seek reparations from Britain for its historic role in encouraging Zionism, saying ‘You should pay us more money.’ [...]

The cash-strapped PA relies on foreign aid for nearly half its budget. Yet it gives £79 million a year to prisoners locked up in Israeli jails, former prisoners and their families.

Although DFID says the salaries are ‘social welfare’ provisions, they go to people convicted of ‘acts of resistance’. The department also insists payments come from the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), which was handed responsibility for prisoner welfare two years ago after concerns over aiding terrorism were raised in Westminster and Brussels.

Yet the father of two brothers jailed for gun attacks on Israeli settlers and soldiers told me he received monthly payments of £428 from the PA as well as £285 from the PLO. Britain has provided aid in the past to the PLO, although this ceased last year.

The Palestinian Media Watch report suggests that Western donors have been misled by detailing documents and official statements exposing how the PA still funds the salaries of convicted terrorists.

Evidence includes the Ministry of Finance saying in an official statement last year it transfers almost half its budget to Gaza, adding this includes ‘the salaries of prisoners, the released and the families of the Martyrs and wounded.’

The report also reveals the PA transferred an extra 444m shekels to the PLO in 2015 - significantly, only marginally more than the 442m shekel budget given to its own Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs the previous year before it transferred responsibility.

Itamar Marcus, the report’s author, said: ‘There is wilful blindness by the UK and EU, who were happy not to even carry out the simplest investigation.’


The group also claims to have discovered two cases of individuals who carried out attacks for cash. In one, Khalad Rajoub, a father of seven arrested for attempted murder two years ago, told police he had big debts and planned to die during an attack.
He is reported to have said: ‘My family would get money and live comfortably… my children would get a monthly allowance.’

A DFID spokesman denied funding terrorism and defended aid support to the PA. ‘This helps build Palestinian institutions and promotes economic growth.’



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