FWIW, my sources in the Jerusalem area say tensions are very high and a third intifada could erupt in full force at any time.
While it expects $693 million from donors, Ramallah’s 2017 budget allocates nearly $345 million for the contentious stipends
The Palestinian Authority’s 2017 budget for payments to inmates in Israeli prisons and so-called “families of martyrs” is equal in sum to about half of the foreign aid Ramallah expects to receive this year, a recently published Israeli report shows.
According to the PA Finance Ministry’s 2017 budget, published on its website earlier in July, salaries to incarcerated and released Palestinian prisoners, many of whom are convicted terrorists, will amount in 2017 to NIS 552 million ($153.4 million).
That is an increase of 13 percent over the 2016 budget, according to a report published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs think tank on July 24.
The new budget also allocates $190,869,166 for payments to so-called “families of martyrs,” up from $174,630,296 allocated in 2016.
The families are defined as those with members who were “killed or wounded in the struggle against Zionism,” including those killed while committing attacks against Israelis, or in any other context by an Israeli.
The total allocation to Palestinian prisoners and ex-prisoners, as well as martyrs’ families, in the 2017 budget is NIS 1,239,528,424 ($344,313,451).
This sum is equal to 49.6 percent of the foreign aid Ramallah expects to receive over the year.