Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


Where the Palestinian Authority Budget Goes

Report: 6% of it goes to prisoners and families of suicide bombers

Print Email
PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad(Getty)

Some troubling news out of Ramallah, where a report highlights the spending of habits of the Palestinian Authority, which includes tens of millions of shekelim in monthly salaries to Palestinians serving in Israeli jails for security offenses including terrorism.

Every so often, a call comes out for the United States and other governments to help bolster the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority so that it can ostensibly pay civil salaries, alleviate poverty, and help build infrastructure. In theory, this aid is meant to be a confidence-building measure for those operating under the theory that a stable Palestinian economy (despite World Bank fears that it is too heavily reliant on foreign aid) will keep moderates in the West Bank in charge and stem the influence of Hamas.

But according to Channel Two in Israel, nearly 6% of the Palestinian Authority’s budget is going to reward Palestinians convicted of political violence and murder as well as the families of suicide bombers. Some of these salaries have been part of long-standing practice going back to 2003, however according to the report, earlier last year, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad tripled some of the salaries in question.

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.

Prisoners’ salaries also increase based on how many years they have served. Abdullah Barghouti, a Hamas bomb-maker who was sentenced in 2004 to 67 life terms for orchestrating the killings of 67 Israelis, receives a monthly stipend of NIS 4,000. In less than a year that figure will rise to NIS 6,000 ($1,500).

Another major Hamas terrorist figure, Abbas al-Sayyeed, convicted of planning the 2002 Park Hotel massacre, in which 30 Israeli civilians were killed as they sat down for a Passover meal, is paid NIS 12,000 ($3,000) per month.

Prisoners who have sat more than 30 years in Israeli prison receive NIS 12,000 per month.

For what it’s worth, 2011 study, the average Israeli monthly salary is just over $2,500. By some estimates, monthly salaries for Palestinian civil servants do not exceed $700.

Just How Expensive Is It to Live in Israel [JTA]
PA spends 6% of its budget paying Palestinians in Israeli jails [Times of Israel]

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Where the Palestinian Authority Budget Goes

Report: 6% of it goes to prisoners and families of suicide bombers

More on Tablet:

Rediscovering the First Woman Rabbi

By Laura Geller — Ordained in 1935, Regina Jonas died at Auschwitz. Now, she’s being honored.