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PA’s ‘Pay-for-Slay’ Payments to Rise by $1.3 Million Per Month

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah in the West Bank January 31, 2023. Majdi Mohammed/Pool via REUTERS

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has announced that since Hamas launched its war on Oct. 7, an additional 3,550 terrorists have been recognized as prisoners of Israel, making a total of 8,800 prisoners.

The overwhelming majority of those included in this number have been captured during Israel’s activities against terror in the PA-controlled areas, while 661 are Hamas terrorists from Gaza:

The prisoners’ affairs institutions:

“The total number of prisoners in the occupation’s [i.e., Israel’s] prisons at the end of December 2023 reached 8,800. Of them, more than 80 female prisoners are in Damon Prison alone … The number of those [prisoners] whom the occupation classifies as ‘illegal fighters’ [i.e., Hamas terrorists from Gaza] is 661.

This means that the number of all the prisoners increased by 3,550 prisoners since Oct. 7. The number of administrative [detainees] increased by 1,971.”

[PA-funded Prisoners’ Club, Telegram channel, Jan. 3, 2024]

Before Oct. 7, the PA had been rewarding 5,250 prisoners and nearly 8,000 released terrorist prisoners with approximately $13.4 million (50 million shekels) in monthly salaries as rewards for terror.

The nearly 67% rise in the number of prisoners will initially cost the PA an additional $1,331,000 per month (4,970,000 shekels), adding $16 million to last year’s expenditure of $161 million (600,000,000 shekels) on terror salaries.

The additional $1,331,000 per month are only the initial costs. According to PA law, as Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) already exposed in 2011, each of the new terrorist prisoners will receive a starting salary of 1,400 shekels per month ($375 per month), which will rise the longer he or she is in prison, reaching a maximum of 12,000 shekels per month ($3,215 per month).

23,210 additional “Martyrs”

In addition, the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida announced on Wednesday that there are 23,210 additional “Martyrs.”

This follows the official announcement by the PLO “Families of the Martyrs and Wounded Institution” three days ago that it recognized an additional 22,000 “Martyrs” in Gaza — which makes their families eligible to receive monthly stipends as well.

Through the PLO, the Palestinian Authority pays the families of so-called “Martyrs” — including all terrorists who were killed attacking Israelis — an immediate one-time 6,000-shekel grant and then 1,400 shekels per month for life.

After previous Israeli wars against Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip, it took several years for the PA to process the thousands of “Martyrs,” but eventually their families received money from the PA.

While most of the names and other information about the “Martyrs” from Gaza are certainly unknown at this stage, the PA was quick to announce that it will make sure to guarantee their families a “dignified life … [and] will continue its efforts to provide the services that it gives these families”:

Chairwoman of the [PLO] Families of the Martyrs and Wounded Institution Intisar Al-Wazir said that this year [Palestinian] Martyrs’ Day is taking place at a time when acts of genocide and massacres by the occupation’s forces against our people in the Gaza Strip are continuing … the result of which was more than 22,000 Martyrs…

She emphasized that the leadership led by [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas is committed to taking care of the families of our Martyrs and wounded and makes sure to guarantee a dignified life for them. She also emphasized that the Families of the Martyrs and Wounded Institution … will continue its efforts to provide the services that it gives these families, which have sacrificed that which is most precious to them for the homeland.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 7, 2024]

The expression of guaranteeing a “dignified life” has been used by the PA before to justify the monthly payments the PA makes to terrorists and their families.

What is clear from both the new PA announcements and past policy is that the PA does not differentiate between Hamas terrorists who committed atrocities after invading Israel on Oct. 7, the Hamas terrorists killed by Israel in the ensuing war, and civilian non-combatants killed in the Gaza Strip while being used as human shields by Hamas. They are all considered “Martyrs” whose families are eligible to receive stipends of 1,400 shekels per month for life.

It should be noted that the PA and PLO institution’s figures for “Martyrs” are based on the Hamas-run Ministry of Health’s announcements, which are certainly exaggerations as can be seen in the one case where there is clear evidence.

After an Islamic Jihad rocket landed in the parking lot of a Gaza hospital killing an estimated 50 people, the PA and the Hamas Ministry of Health both announced that 500 civilians were killed inside the hospital by an Israeli bomb.

Likewise, analysis has debunked the Hamas daily announcements of numbers of “Martyrs,” showing that there are days when the PA reported more women and children as having died than the total number of dead reported for that same day. The casualty figures are clearly exaggerations intended to bring international condemnation of Israel and international pressure for a ceasefire.

In the same article announcing the new “Martyrs,” the PA daily emphasized how highly the PA values the terrorist “Martyrs”:

“Palestine’s Martyrs constitute a medal of honor for our people. They are the symbol of freedom and self-sacrifice, and they are the stars who do not disappear from our skies. They perfume our land with their deep-red and fragrant blood, and they are more honored than us all.” [emphasis added]

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 7, 2024]

Because of its “pay-for-slay” terror rewards, the PA has lost billions of dollars in foreign funding, a billion dollars that Israel deducted from tax transfers per Israel’s deduction law [according to PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh on Al-Araby TV, Dec. 10, 2023], and billions of dollars wasted on funding terrorists and their families.

As a result, the PA currently does not have the money to pay salaries to Palestinian civil servants, including teachers, and has been making only partial payments for over two years. Now, the international community is asking Israel to release the money it has frozen because the PA is sending it to Gaza, while complaining to Israel about the PA’s dire financial situation.

The new salaries just for the prisoners alone will cause the PA an additional budget deficit of $16 million per year. When the PA begs for international aid because of its great deficit, the donor countries should remember that when they fund the PA — either through direct aid or by paying expenses — in essence, they will be reimbursing the PA for money it spent to fund terror.

It’s time the donors conditioned their funding on the end of the PA’s “pay-for-slay” program.

The author is the founder and executive director of Palestinian Media Watch, where a version of this article first appeared.

The post PA’s ‘Pay-for-Slay’ Payments to Rise by $1.3 Million Per Month first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Alleged Neo-Nazi Indicted for Plot to Carry Out New Year’s Eve Mass Casualty Attack Against Jews, Other Minorities

An American flag waves outside the US Department of Justice Building in Washington, US, Dec. 2, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Tom Brenner

US federal authorities have charged, and a grand jury has indicted, a foreign national with planning a mass casualty attack against Jews and other minorities in New York on New Year’s Eve.

The United States Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of New York reported that a grand jury indicted Georgian national Michail Chkhikvishvili with soliciting hate crimes and acts of mass violence.

Chkhikvishvili is reportedly the leader of a group called the “Maniac Murder Cult,” a white supremacist, neo-Nazi group.

Specifically, he was recruiting people to carry out arson and bombing attacks — as well as attacks aimed at Jewish and other minority children, according to US officials.

The US Attorney’s Office explained that the “planned New Year’s Eve attack involved Santa Claus handing out poisoned candy to racial minorities as well as distributing poisoned candy to Jewish children in Brooklyn.”

There were more than 450,000 Jews who lived in Brooklyn as of May 2024. Many neighborhoods are known to be predominantly Hasidic.

Authorities found out about the plot when Chkhikvishvili solicited an undercover law enforcement official to be involved in the attack.

He “sought to recruit others to commit violent attacks and killings in furtherance of his Neo-Nazi ideologies,” US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace said in a statement. “We will not hesitate to find and prosecute those who threaten the safety and freedoms of all members of our community, including members of minority communities, no matter where in the world these criminals might be hiding.”

FBI New York Acting Assistant Director Christie Curtis lauded law enforcement for stopping the attack before it could ever take place.

“The swift disruption of this individual, accused of allegedly plotting violent attacks in New York, sends a clear message: we will use every resource in our power to ensure the safety of the American people,” she said. “The men and women who work on this task force day in and day out exemplify true service to our community, demonstrating unwavering commitment in thwarting those who seek to harm our citizens and our way of life.”

The plot comes amid a wave of antisemitic attacks that ramped up in America and around the world after Hamas’ Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel, amid the ensuing war in Gaza.

Earlier this month, an observant Jew was sucker punched and beaten in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, DC. The alleged attacker subsequently expressed his motive, saying “They’re [the Jews] the cause of all our wars,” and “We know who you are! We know the lies that you’ve told, that you have stolen the place of the true children of Israel.”

He was charged with assault and a hate crime.

In December, the FBI said there had been a 60 percent spike in antisemitic hate crime investigations since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war. Then, in April, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the probes into antisemitic crimes tripled in the months following Oct. 7.

“Between Oct. 7 and Jan. 30 of this year, we opened over three times more anti-Jewish hate crime investigations than in the four months before Oct. 7,” he explained.

Last year, the FBI found that 63 percent of all religiously motivated hate crimes in the US were directed against Jews.

The post Alleged Neo-Nazi Indicted for Plot to Carry Out New Year’s Eve Mass Casualty Attack Against Jews, Other Minorities first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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RNC Spotlights Campus Antisemitism as Elise Stefanik Teases ‘Bombshell’ Findings From US Congressional Probe

US Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) speaks during a House Education and The Workforce Committee hearing titled ‘Holding Campus Leaders Accountable and Confronting Antisemitism’ on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, Dec. 5, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Ken Cedeno

US lawmakers are preparing to release later this year a trove of new “bombshell” information revealing the extent to which antisemitism has been allowed to flourish on university campuses across the country, according to a high-ranking Republican.

US Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) spoke with political pundit and podcast host Megyn Kelly about the efforts of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce to investigate surging antisemitism, including anti-Jewish bias, on college campuses. While reminiscing over last December’s congressional hearing with the presidents of Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — in which each campus leader proclaimed that calls for a genocide of Jews may not violate school rules depending on “the context” — Stefanik revealed that the committee has obtained new documents shedding light on anti-Jewish hate at elite universities.

“This is pervasive in higher-ed. We have worked on this investigation, and if you think the hearing was bad, Megyn, we’re going to have to talk about all the documents that have been turned over because of our subpoena,” Stefanik said. “We’ll put out a report later this year. That’s even more bombshell material in there. It’s a disgrace what’s happening at these universities.”

Antisemitism has exploded at universities since the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel, amid the ensuing Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. Over the past several months, the committee has rigorously investigated antisemitism at America’s most prestigious universities. The panel recently unearthed and exposed text message exchanges between Columbia University deans which revealed the campus leaders mocking Jewish students as “privileged.” The lawmakers also alleged, based on their investigation, that Harvard University has engaged in a “pattern of inaction” in response to campus antisemitism.

Stefanik spoke to Kelly at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where Republicans are gathering this week to nominate their 2024 presidential candidate. The issue of campus antisemitism has been a key issue highlighted at the RNC.

On Wednesday night, Shabbos Kestenbaum, a recent Harvard graduate suing his alma mater over its alleged failure to protect Jewish students, took the RNC main stage and delivered an impassioned speech on campus antisemitism. Kestenbaum said that the surge of unchecked antisemitism on Harvard’s campus in the months following Oct. 7 left him disillusioned with progressives, prompting his move to the political right. 

“After Oct. 7, the world finally saw what I and so many Jewish students across this country experienced almost every day,” he told the RNC crowd. 

“My problem with Harvard is not its liberalism, but its illiberalism. Too often, students at Harvard are taught not how to think, but what to think. I found myself immersed in a culture that is anti-Western, that is anti American, and that is antisemitic,” Kestenbaum said. 

Kestenbaum implored the crowd to support the presidential campaign of Republican nominee Donald Trump. 

“Sadly the far-left wing tide of antisemitism is rising,” Kestenbaum said. “But tonight, tonight we fight back. I am proud to support President Trump’s policies to expel foreign students who violate our laws, harass our Jewish classmates, and desecrate our freedoms … let’s elect a president who recognizes that although Harvard and the Ivy Leagues have long abandoned the United States of America, the Jewish people never will.”

Anti-Israel protests have ravaged college campuses across the United States in the months following Oct. 7. Students at prominent universities such as Harvard, Columbia, and MIT have participated in demonstrations chanting slogans such as “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” and “Burn Tel Aviv to the ground!” Progressive student organizations have also openly banned “Zionists,” forcing Jewish students to choose between supporting Israel and maintaining their social network. Campus demonstrators have also openly cheered Hamas and in some cases threatened or committed violence against Jewish students.

Jewish donors and alumni have condemned university administrators over their unwillingness to shut down demonstrations. As a result, many of them have pulled funding and vowed not to allow their children to enroll at their alma maters.

Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots NFL team, has ceased donating to Columbia University, citing “virulent hate” against Jews on campus.  Ross Stevens, founder and CEO of Stone Ridge Asset Management, pulled a $100 million donation from the University of Pennsylvania. The MIT Jewish Alumni Alliance urged Jewish graduates and allies to protest campus antisemitism by lowering their annual donation amount to $1.

The post RNC Spotlights Campus Antisemitism as Elise Stefanik Teases ‘Bombshell’ Findings From US Congressional Probe first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Pro-Israel Group Calls on US Justice Department to Apply ‘KKK Laws’ to Pro-Hamas Demonstrations

Pro-Hamas demonstrators at Columbia University in New York City, US, April 29, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs

StandWithUs (SWU), a Jewish civil rights group based in California, is imploring the US Justice Department to crack down on masked protests at Columbia University by enforcing legal statues which are widely referred to as the “KKK Laws,” citing a hostile environment at the school in which pro-Hamas demonstrators who have harassed and assaulted Jewish students continuously evade justice by concealing their identities.

Dating back to the administration of former US President Ulysses S. Grant, the so-called “KKK Laws” empower the federal government to prosecute those who engage in activities which violate the civil rights of protected groups, as the Ku Klux Klan did across the US South during Reconstruction to prevent African Americans from voting and living as free citizens. StandWithUs alleges that five anti-Zionist groups — most notably Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) — currently operating on Columbia University’s campus have perpetrated similar abuses in violation of Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which guarantees all students, regardless of race or ethnic background, has the right to a safe learning environment.

The most obvious parallel between their conduct and the KKK’s, StandWithUs noted, is an inveterate shrouding of their members’ faces with masks and keffiyehs, the traditional headscarf worn by Palestinians that has become known as a symbol of solidarity with the Palestinian cause and opposition to Israel. Images and footage of the practice have been widely circulated online, and it has rendered identifying the protesters — many of whom have chanted antisemitic slogans, vandalized school property, and threatened to harm Jewish students and faculty during a weeks-long demonstration between April and May — virtually impossible.

Additionally, the groups — which also include Within Our Lifetime (WOL), Columbia/Barnard Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP), Columbia University Apartheid, Columbia School of Social Work 4 Palestine (CSSW4P), and Faculty and Staff for Justice in Palestine (FJP) — have proclaimed their intention to purge Columbia’s campus of Zionists, a category which includes an overwhelming majority of Jews in the US and around the world. Their rhetoric, StandWithUs added, is unlike any uttered in the US since demonstrations against school integration in the 1950s.

“We hope the Department of Justice (DOJ) will take this opportunity to restore justice on Columbia University’s campuses and hold bad actors responsible for violating federal laws,” Yael Lerman, director of the SWU Saidoff Legal Department, said on Wednesday. “Columbia President Shafik’s concession that Columbia is a hostile environment for Jewish students in violation of Title VI reflects a critical need for the current administration to take decisive action at Columbia.”

Lerman added, “We urge the DOJ to investigate the school’s failure to prevent groups and individuals on its campus from joining forces and depriving Jewish students of their civil rights, a failure that runs afoul of the KKK laws.”

SWU’s letter — sent to US Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Justice Department on Wednesday — comes amid an ongoing lawsuit the organization’s Legal Center for Justice (SCLJ) filed against Columbia University in February over its alleged failure to prevent and respond to an explosion of anti-Jewish hate incidents which have occurred on the campus since Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel, an event the protesters cheered and defended as an act of decolonization inspired by the ideas of far-left political philosophers such as Frantz Fanon.

SWU amended its complaint against Columbia in June, adding 45 students as plaintiffs and over “230 pages of allegations.” Meanwhile, the accusations which surfaced following the group’s first filing have already stained Columbia’s reputation.

“F— the Jews,” “Death to Jews,” “Jews will not defeat us,” and “From water to water, Palestine will be Arab,” Columbia protesters chanted on campus grounds after Oct. 7, violating the school’s code of conduct but never facing consequences for doing so, the complaint alleges. Faculty engaged in similar behavior. On Oct. 8, professor Joseph Massad published in Electronic Intifada an essay cheering Hamas’ atrocities, which included slaughtering children and raping women, as “awesome” and describing men who paraglided into a music festival to kill young people as “the air force of the Palestinian resistance.”

The protesters later reinforced their rhetoric with violence, the complaint adds. They beat up five Jewish students in Columbia’s Butler Library. Another allegedly attacked a Jewish students with a stick, lacerating his head and breaking his finger, after being asked to return missing persons posters she had stolen. Following the incidents, pleas for help went unanswered and administrators told Jewish students they could not guarantee their safety while Students for Justice in Palestine held its demonstrations.

The school’s powerlessness to prevent anti-Jewish violence was cited as the reason why Students Supporting Israel (SSI), a recognized school club, was denied permission to hold an event on self-defense. Events with “buzzwords” such as “Israel” and “Palestine” were purportedly forbidden, administrators allegedly said, but SJP continued to host events while no one explained the inconsistency.

Columbia University president Minouche Shafik, who took office in July 2023, recently attempted to assuage concerns that Columbia has become a sanctuary for antisemites after it was revealed that five high-level administrators participated in a group-chat in which ideas that “disturbingly touched on ancient antisemitic tropes” were exchanged. She fired none of the administrators, however, which has led to calls for her to resign from office.

“We will launch a vigorous program of antisemitism and antidiscrimination [sic] training for faculty and staff this fall, with related training for students under the auspices of university life,” Shafik said in statement. “Columbia’s leadership team recognizes this as an important moment to implement changes that will build a stronger institution as a result. I know that you all share this commitment.”

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

The post Pro-Israel Group Calls on US Justice Department to Apply ‘KKK Laws’ to Pro-Hamas Demonstrations first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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