Before jetting off to Rome for a visit with Pope Francis Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump made a trip to Bethlehem and met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Abbas is the architect of "pay for slay," a Palestinian Authority program that financially rewards terrorists and their families for killing Israelis and Americans.
Palestinian officials don’t rely only on words. To spur knifings, car-rammings, and the like, they use an apparatus of cash incentives. The PA has enacted legislation and created bureaucracies to ensure financial rewards for perpetrators of anti-Israel attacks. Payment amounts correlate to the number of people the terrorists manage to victimize. It’s a system that not only foments violence but also makes terrorism a lucrative career choice for young Palestinians.
Critics have labeled this system “pay for slay.” It has received little public attention—far less than the incitement issue. But it deserves more, especially because U.S. taxpayers help fund the blood payments. The U.S. government averages $400 million in annual aid to the PA, and those aid dollars are fungible.
During public remarks, Trump made a reference to the practice and called for it to end.
“Great things can come from that meeting. I was gratified that President Abbas joined the summit and committed to taking firm but necessary steps to fight terrorism and confront its hateful ideology. And it’s so interesting that our meeting took place on this very horrible morning of death to innocent young people. Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded and even rewarded," Trump said. "We must be resolute in condemning such acts in a single unified voice, peace is a choice we must make each day and the united states is here to help make that dream possible for young Jewish, Christians and Muslim children all across the region. In so doing, we will all enjoy a safer and brighter future and a safer and brighter world.”
When Abbas visited the White House earlier this month, the President brought up the issue of paying terrorists during a meeting in the Oval Office.
"President Trump emphasized the importance of making a clear commitment to preventing inflammatory rhetoric and to stopping incitement, and to continue strengthening efforts to combat terrorism. President Trump raised his concerns about payments to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails who have committed terrorist acts, and to their families, and emphasized the need to resolve this issue," a readout of the meeting states.