The Palestinian Authority (PA) sometimes lies in its propaganda. It has that in common with many governing authorities, particularly those which have evolved in historical circumstances similar to those in which the PA has evolved. So, when the PA claims to be paying £8 million per annum to the families of convicted criminals including terrorists, I don't know whether to believe such a claim - if I don't believe some of the other things that the PA says, why should I believe this? Nevertheless, the PA is making such a claim, and some people are connecting it to the £86 million that the UK provides to the Palestinians each year; the suggestion is being made that British taxpayers are giving millions of pounds that the PA is then paying to the families of terrorists. Assuming that these £8 million payments actually exist, then is there any evidence that they are coming from the £86 million provided by the British? I have seen no such evidence.
Of course, it can be argued that, if the PA has so much spare cash that it can afford to pay £8 million to terrorists and other criminals, then why does it need aid from us? I understand also the argument that the PA can only afford to make these payments because international aid is paying for so many other things. I also completely understand how awful it is that the Fatah-controlled PA, so-often portrayed in the West as a relatively moderate organisation with which Israel can negotiate for peace, is engaged in the glorification of terrorists.
But those are different arguments from the claim that UK taxpayers' money is being given by the PA to terrorists' families. The UK's aid to the Palestinians is broken down in great detail on the Department for International Development's website. Is the UK simply handing money to the PA, or are we funding specific aid projects of our own? If the latter, then to what extent is it true that British money is going into a PA pot from which the PA is then taking £8 million to give to terrorists and other criminals? This is not as cut and dried as some people are making out. At least some of the UK aid to Palestinians is going to things that I strongly support.