Published On: Tue, May 17th, 2016

Israel Thanks Norway for Pressing Abbas on Financial Support for Terrorists

 FeaturedImage_2016-05-16_Flickr_Borge_Brende_16714073563_733c5ea812_k Israel Thanks Norway for Pressing Abbas on Financial Support for Terrorists

Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold thanked Norway after the Norwegian foreign minister vowed that his country would no longer transfer financial aid to the Palestinian Authority that would be used to pay terrorists.

“It is outrageous that killing Israelis has become a source of income for many in the PA, ” Gold said in a statement. “This completely contradicts what peace is all about. These payments incentivize terrorism and must be stopped.”

 

Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende said after his closed-door meeting with Abbas last week that he had criticized the payments to jailed terrorists, saying that the practice “where financial payments increased by the length of prisoners’ sentences, was unacceptable and should be abolished.” Abbas replied that no Norwegian funds were used for this purpose, but did not deny that other foreign aid was going to terrorists.

Concerns over the PA’s payments to terrorists have come up repeatedly in recent months. A March expose by The Mail on Sunday showed that a significant portion of the UK’s £72 million ($102 million) annual contribution to the PA was being used to pay terrorists.

A report published last month by the nonprofit group Palestinian Media Watch showed how the PA shifted the responsibility for paying terrorists to the PLO in 2014. After that point, the PA’s annual payments to the PLO increased by 481 million shekels ($128 million)—enough to cover the PA’s terrorism payment budget of 442 million shekels ($118 million), plus a further 10 percent. This allowed the continuation of indirect Western aid payments to convicted terrorists, via the PA.

The growing Western frustration with the Palestinian Authority’s internal practices comes as France is attempting to convene an international conference to set terms for a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Israel has expressed skepticism that the conference will work, due to the fact that it is happening in the place of direct bilateral negotiations, traditionally the most effective way to bring about agreements between the parties.

[Photo: Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken / Flickr ]

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