Rory Jones reports for the Wall Street Journal that Western countries are pressuring Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to end payments to families of Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli jails and to families of those killed while attacking Israelis.
President Trump raised these payments in a meeting with Abbas on Wednesday at the White House, according to White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
Israel says the system incentivizes terrorism, and it sees the payments as a test of the Palestinians’ willingness to make compromises.
This “is not a social-welfare program,” said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.). “If the Palestinian Authority is truly concerned about human welfare, it should show a little more concern for the innocent people these terrorists have killed.”
The Palestinian Authority in 2016 paid out roughly $300 million to tens of thousands of families of prisoners or Palestinians killed by Israel, according to data published by the Palestinian administration and collated by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.