Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

Proven performance - PA system of incentives for terrorism shown to work

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In my blog post from December 10, I attempted to shine a spotlight on the financial benefits showered upon Palestinians convicted of attacking Israelis - including monthly stipends while in prison and high-paying jobs upon release. I pointed out that essentially, the Palestinian Authority (PA) was encouraging and incentivising Palestinians to commit acts of terrorism.

I wrote:

When the Palestinian government ensures that people who perpetrate acts of violent terrorism receive better pay and a brighter future in society than those who don't, this isn't "honoring those who resist" - it's encouraging more and more Palestinians to pursue terrorism simply as a sensible career choice.

Now, here's a case that exemplifies it.

Palestinian Media Watch has released a signed confession from Husni Majjar, a Palestinian from Hebron, who said that he had plotted a fictitious terror attack purely for financial reasons - with the expectation that he would receive income from the PA for doing so, as directed under Palestinian law.

Majjar claimed he never intended to carry out the attack, but hoped merely planning it would get the sentence he was hoping for.

"Because of my difficult financial situation, as I told you, I decided to arrange an imaginary plan for the Shin Bet [security service] so that I will be arrested and receive more than five years in prison in order to receive a steady salary as a stipend from the PA in order to cover my debts and pay for my wedding," the Hebron resident explained.

Majjar had been jailed once previously for a terror plot and was looking forward to the salary increase that the PA would bestow upon him as a repeat offender. Under the PA's system, Palestinians who are convicted for plotting or executing attacks get larger monthly payment for longer prison sentences than for shorter ones.

It really should be no surprise. Paying people comparatively good wages to commit terrorism in a society rife with high unemployment makes them want to commit terrrorism - or in Majjar's case, to even pretend to plan a terrorist act so he can go to jail and reap the benefits.

So for how much longer are Western donors to the PA going to continue to let their money effectively subsidise and encourage terrorist acts? Unlike Majjar's pretend plan - these real terror acts not only get people killed, and damage Palestinian society by encouraging the growth of armed terror groups within it, but make the peacemaking these donors support much more difficult.

Ahron Shapiro