Calling for Mahmoud Abbas — president of the PA, chairman of the PLO, and head of Fatah — to condemn the terrorist attack in Itamar and to end incitement is meaningless.
Fatah, the main party in the PLO, is committed to violence. The Sixth Fatah Conference (2009) affirmed all forms of resistance, including armed struggle. Resistance to Israeli “occupation,” as Palestinians see it, is not only legitimate but honored.
Although there is no evidence that the PA, PLO, and Fatah are actively involved in terrorist activities, they support anti-Israel incitement and “popular resistance.” Local gangs and “sleeper cells” acting on their own and even loosely affiliated with Fatah/al Aksa Brigades carry out terrorist attacks, but — unlike their role under Yassir Arafat — are not officially sanctioned by the PA.
While international funding to Palestinian and pro-Palestinian organizations may not be used directly to fund terrorism by donor law, these funds are used in the war of words against Israel with devastating success.
Said Abbas: “We do not wish to turn to armed struggle, because our [lack of] capabilities and the international atmosphere do not allow for it.” Appealing to Palestinian leadership to abjure incitement and violence, therefore, is absurd when that is part of their agenda. They could not stop violence or recognize Israel’s right to exist even if they wanted to. It’s in the PLO charter.
Playing a diplomatic game of promoting an ostensible “peace partner” undermines Israel’s position by fostering the delusion of peace through negotiations. Lavishly funded and enjoying wide international support, Palestinians have no incentive to change. Understanding the money pipeline, therefore, is critical.
From 1994 to 2005, the PA received $4.67 billion. Where did it go?
According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, “The Palestinian Authority deducts 1.5% to 2.0% from the salaries of security forces for Fatah membership fees. The close connection between the Palestinian Authority and Fatah allows the PA to redistribute this money to Fatah activities.” What might those activities be?
Between 2008 and 2010, the EU gave €692 million to the PA, € 477.9 million for PA “salaries and pensions,” and € 105.97 million for “vulnerable Palestinian families.”
According to an EU spokesperson, EU member states added “a further €265.32 million (all figures in millions): Austria, €2.0; Belgium, €9.0; Finland, €5.0; Germany, €65.0; Greece, €0.5; Hungary, €0.2; Ireland, €6.0; Italy, €27.0; Luxembourg, €1.0; Malta, €0.15; Netherlands, €28.77; Slovenia, €0.15; Spain, €78.0; Sweden, €20.42; UK, €20.8. This figure also includes a contribution of €1.33 million from Switzerland. Some member states have also contributed to the World Bank Trust Fund; however, the World Bank does not report on individual national contributions to the Trust Fund.”
“No money has gone to terrorist organizations or individuals linked to them. The system in place makes sure only established agencies (for example, UNRWA) are used.”
The EU did not explain what their control mechanism is, or what guarantees full performance.
The EU also supports the PA’s moves towards statehood. “In June 2010, the EU committed more than €210 million for the Palestinian Authority’s recurrent expenditure. A further €69 million were allocated for social and economic development and institution-building projects in support of the Palestinian Authority’s ‘Two Year Plan for Statehood’ announced in August 2009.”
“The Palestinian Authority received $525 million of international aid to support its budget in the first half of 2010, following $1.4 billion last year and $1.8 billion in 2008, according to World Bank estimates.” The PA received $929 million in 2001, $891 million in 2003, and $1.1 billion in 2005.
According to a CRS report to the U.S. Congress: “Since the formation of a Hamas-led Palestinian Authority government in March 2006, the U.S. Administration has suspended its foreign assistance program in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. U.S. policy makers have stated that foreign aid cannot resume until Hamas, a U.S. State Department-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), renounces, among other things, its commitment to the destruction of the state of Israel and the use of terrorist violence.” The U.S. does not include Fatah as a terrorist organization.
Yet, “the U.S. provided the PA with $500.9 million in 2009,” $600 million in 2010, and “… $550 million in 2011. This assistance does not include U.S. financial support for UNRWA, an agency devoted exclusively to providing welfare benefits to Palestinians while subordinating itself to a Palestinian political agenda. The U.S. is the single largest donor to UNRWA. Last year the $268 million U.S. taxpayers gave the UN agency constituted 27 percent of UNRWA’s budget.”
“The U.S. provided $350 million to the PA for security and program assistance in 2010 in addition to $150 million in direct budgetary support, while the EU gave the PA more than €230 million ($315 million).”
In addition, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states have contributed (estimated) billions to fund Palestinian terrorist groups and jihadist anti-Israel incitement.
The state of Israel is also complicit. In 2010 it transferred NIS 4.6 billion to the PA, which is unrestricted.
According to the Jerusalem Post, the PA pays monthly salaries to Hamas terrorists in Israeli prisons, and supports families of terrorists. Meanwhile, Cpl. Gilad Shalit remains a prisoner of Hamas, in isolation and incommunicado.
What has all of this money bought? Incitement is central to the Palestinian agenda and is supported by the U.S., EU, and the UN, so why should they stop as long as the money flows?