The European Union has pledging to give the Palestinian Authority 15 million euros to cover the salaries of public employees—salaries that leader Mahmoud Abbas cut to keep up the P.A.’s payments to imprisoned and released terrorists, wounded terrorists and the families of dead terrorists.
Abbas has declared that the P.A. is “obligated” to continue rewarding the terrorist prisoners and families of so-called “martyrs.”
Earlier this year, Israel decided to withhold from the tax money it collects on behalf of the P.A. an amount equaling the sum the P.A. pays to terrorist prisoners. These prisoners include mass murderers and heads of terror organizations. In response, the P.A. has refused to accept all the tax money, amounting to over 50 percent of its budget, thereby inflicting a serious financial crisis on itself.
To overcome this crisis—and in order to have money available to continue to pay the terrorists in full—the P.A. cut the salaries of its public employees by 50 percent.
According to the Palestinian Media Watch NGO, Abbas then turned to Europe for money, claiming Israel was responsible for the P.A.’s self-inflicted crisis.
The European Union has now answered his appeal.
E.U. Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn stated to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee of P.A. donor countries in April: “We are all aware of the fiscal crisis the P.A. is facing and of the potential human, social and security consequences. Both sides need to move towards a solution. Israel’s decision to withhold clearance revenues violates current arrangements. At the same time, we do not support the system of Palestinian payments to ‘prisoners and martyrs.’ ”