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20 Years Later: Palestinian Authority Still Handing Out Salary Raises to Terrorists in 'Pay to Slay' Policy


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JERUSALEM - Twenty years ago, a suicide bomber killed nine people and wounded dozens of others in an attack at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.  

The accomplices in that attack just got a pay raise.  

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The bombing which took place at the Frank Sinatra Cafeteria at Hebrew University on July 31, 2002, came in the middle of what was called the Second Intifadah, a four-year-long terror campaign against Israelis. The Israel Defense Forces arrested those responsible who have been in prison for 20 years. 

"Here we're talking about nine murdered, over 80 injured. Five of those murdered were actually American citizens. And now the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) is literally paying additional rewards to those terrorists," noted Palestinian Media Watch's Maurice Hirsch.  

Hirsch explained to CBN News the Palestinian Authority law which standardizes payments to terrorists.  

"And sets a pay scale which goes up, when the salary goes up every period of time on an automatic basis," he said. "So one of those increments goes up when you serve 20  years in jail, you then get a 14 and a bit percent pay rise and your salary goes up."  

Israel also passed its own anti-terror law in 2018 that reduces the amount of tax revenue they return to the P.A. That's equal to the money the Palestinian Authority pays terrorists in jail. 

Just days ago, they stopped payment of more than $176 million to the P.A., but the process of paying money to terrorists, known as "pay to slay," is deeply embedded in the Palestinian Authority.  

"I cannot impress on you how deeply suited and rooted this entire policy is," Hirsch told CBN News. "As Mahmoud Abbas has repeated said, 'If there's only one penny left in the coffers of the Palestinian Authority, he will pay it to terrorists.'"  

Four years ago, the U.S. Congress passed the Taylor Force Act to stop U.S. aid to the Palestinians from going to pay terrorists.   

"The Palestinian Authority just don't care," Hirsch explained. "While they constantly say that America is failing them by not providing aid, really all they need to do is stop paying terrorists. Stop rewarding the murder of American citizens and they'll be able to get their money."  

Hirsch said the world needs to wake up to how the P.A. keeps alive this perpetuation of terrorism.   

"Probably the most poisonous idea affecting peace between Israelis and the Palestinians at the moment is the payment of these rewards to terrorists," he noted. "The international community must get together, must implore the Palestinian Authority to abolish this policy and condition all aid to the P.A. on abolishing this policy."  

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About The Author

Chris Mitchell

In a time where the world's attention is riveted on events in the Middle East, CBN viewers have come to appreciate Chris Mitchell's timely reports from this explosive region of the world. Chris brings a Biblical and prophetic perspective to these daily news events that shape our world. He first began reporting on the Middle East in the mid-1990s. Chris repeatedly traveled there to report on the religious and political issues facing Israel and the surrounding Arab states. One of his more significant reports focused on the emigration of persecuted Christians from the Middle East. In the past