December 11, 2005.
The head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has approved a new
law, providing monetary grants to the families of suicide bombers. Abbas gave
his approval just six days ago, a day before a suicide bomber struck the
HaSharon Mall in Netanya, killing five Israelis and wounding scores of others.
The legislation refers to the suicide terrorists as shahids (martyrs), a term
generally applied to a person who dies in an operation fighting against Israel.
Under the new law, the terrorist’s family will be paid a base sum of $250 per
month. The law takes into account extended family arrangements commonplace
in Arab societies. The families of married terrorists are entitled to an additional
$50 per month, and $15 are added for each child, $25 for each parent, and
$15 for each brother who lived with the terrorist prior to his death.
The monies, to be paid out of the general budget of the Palestinian Authority,
are significant sums for average Arab families living in Judea, Samaria, and
Both Israel and the United States have taken legal action in recent years to shut
down organizations that distribute money to the families of terrorists, especially
The budget of the Palestinian Authority is largely subsidized by grants from
European nations and the United States.
Israel also regularly transfers money to the PA. Much of that money is collected
as customs duties on goods entering Israel bound for the PA, or for Arabs living
under its jurisdiction.
Below is an English translation of an overview of the new law, as published by
the Palestinian Authority newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida:
“…The fifth clause of the draft law includes granting a monthly allowance to
the family of every shahid, taken from the general budget of the [Palestinian]
The sum of the allowance is estimated to be $250, but if the shahid was
married [at the time of death], another $50 are to be added to the sum
mentioned above, and if the shahid had children, [an additional sum of] $15 will
be allocated to each of them. In addition, if the shahid had a [living] father or
mother, a sum of $25 will be allocated to each of them.
If the shahid had brothers, whom he had been taking care of, each of
them will be allocated [a sum of] $15…
The transfer of the allowances to the families of the shahids is expected
to be carried out by the Institute for the Care of the Families of Shahids,
through special [bank] accounts [opened] for the eligible people…