U.S. Envoys Slam Palestinian Pay to Israeli-American's Killer

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. ambassador to Israel blasted the Palestinian Authority practice of paying salaries to those who attack Israelis, after a Palestinian official said the teen who stabbed an Israeli-American to death earlier this week can receive a monthly stipend.

“The Palestinian Prisoner Affairs Commission has confirmed that the family of the terrorist who murdered Ari Fuld is ‘eligible to receive a monthly salary’ as compensation for his incarceration,” Friedman said on Twitter. “This practice is unconscionable and must stop if there is to be any hope for peace.”

Fuld, 45, was stabbed to death Sunday by Khalil Jabarin, 17, as he stood outside a West Bank shopping mall. Israeli media hailed Fuld as a hero for chasing after Jabarin and shooting at him -- even as blood poured from his stab wound -- and was credited with stopping the teen from attacking others.

Israel says payments to families of prisoners and “martyrs” killed in attacks, which increase with the severity of the crime, incentivize terrorism. The Palestinian Authority describes them as welfare payments for families whose relatives are in jail.

First, Paperwork

The Palestinian Authority denied an Israeli television report that Jabarin’s family had already received an initial payment. The family must first fill out paperwork, and it could take several months before they start receiving a monthly stipend of 1,400 shekels ($392), Prisoner Affairs’ Commission spokesman Hassan Abd Rabbo told the Times of Israel. The amount will increase the longer Jabarin is in jail, Abd Rabbo said.

Friedman’s comments follow a Twitter post Tuesday by U.S. peace negotiator Jason Greenblatt. “OUTRAGEOUS!” Greenblatt wrote of the planned payment.

“Some people are complaining about US cutting funds to the Palestinian Authority. But the PA continues to pay terrorists - in this case the terrorist who on Sunday murdered in cold-blood Ari Fuld, an Israeli-American father of four,” Greenblatt wrote.

Congress passed a law earlier this year mandating an end to U.S. financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority over the payments to attackers and their families. More recently, the Trump administration closed Palestinian diplomatic offices in Washington, saying the Palestinian Authority was ducking peace talks with Israel, and slashed its support to the United Nations agency that serves Palestinian refugees, arguing that it perpetuates rather than helps resolve the refugee issue. Palestinian officials cut off all contact with the Trump administration after the U.S. recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last December.

Jabarin, who was shot and lightly wounded as he fled the scene of the attack, is in Israeli custody. His family turned to Palestinian security agencies Sunday morning when their son was reported missing from school, saying they feared he planned to carry out an attack, but the warning came too late to stop the killing.

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