4 December 2013 – Brussels – The AJC Transatlantic Institute welcomed the passing of a motion in the Dutch Parliament calling on the government to pressure the Palestinian Authority (PA) to end its use of aid to reward terrorism.
“The Dutch Parliament’s motion is an important recognition of an utterly shameful practice,” said Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute in Brussels. “Aid from EU member states must be used for constructive, peace-building purposes, not to help fuel the conflict.”
The motion, passed by an overwhelming majority, notes that PA payments to convicted terrorists increase based on the length of sentence, thus encouraging future crimes. It references how monthly payments to Palestinians in prison can range from €282 for someone jailed for less than three years to €2,419 for a sentence of 30 years or more.
The EU is the single largest donor to the Palestinians. The Sunday Times (UK) cited in October an unpublished report by the European Court of Auditors detailing how EU aid to the Palestinians has been “misspent, squandered or lost to corruption,” to the tune of £1.95bn between 2008 and 2012.
“The time has come for a full inquiry into the how and when the PA has been using EU aid to encourage terrorism,” said Schwammenthal. “The EU cannot simply close its eyes and ignore a problem that is so clearly an obstacle to peace and a massive misuse of EU tax money.”
The Dutch Parliament action comes nine months after Norwegian state television (NRK) reported on PA payments to convicted terrorists in Israeli prisons. NRK said then that the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, which previously denied the accusations, now concedes that “information that was first communicated to [Norwegian] Parliament, and which was based on information obtained from the PA at the time, in retrospect, is imprecise.”
“Enough is enough. Aid from the EU and its member states must further the goals of the common policy – a negotiated two-state solution,” said Schwammenthal. “Rewarding terrorism will not bring peace. Plain and simple.”
TAI Press Release: “TAI Calls for Investigation into Corruption and Misuse of Palestinian Aid” (14 October 2013)
TAI Press Release: “Palestinian Donor Money Must Not Reward Terrorists” (19 March 2013)