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Dutch parliament calls on P.A. to stop paying salaries to terrorists

(JTA) — The Dutch parliament unanimously passed a motion calling for an end to salaries that the Palestinian Authority pays to convicted terrorists.

The motion was supported by the 148 lawmakers in the Dutch lower house, the House of Representatives, who voted. The House has 150 members.

“The parliament asserts that since 2011, the Palestinian Authority transfers money to Palestinian convicts in Israeli prisons [and] that these moneys can have a negative effect, in which criminality and terrorism are rewarded,” read the motion submitted by Joel Voordewind and Kees Van der Staaij of the Christian Union and SGP: Reformed Political Party parties, respectively.

In the motion passed earlier this month, the Dutch parliament also “request the government to take effort, also in European Union frameworks, for ending this Palestinian policy” and “to inform branches of government and parliament” of the policy before the annual vote on the foreign ministry’s budget.

Votes on the ministry’s budget are often accompanied by scrutiny of how the ministry spends resources abroad, including on aid programs in the Palestinian Authority and Gaza Strip.

The Netherlands gives $88 million annually to the Palestinian Authority in addition to about $24 million that it donates to UNRWA, according to the De Telegraaf daily.

Holland’s former foreign minister, Uri Rosenthal, has said that of those sums, only $10,800 is used by the Palestinian Authority to pay salaries to terrorists, but Voordewind said recent figures show the real figure is closer to $5.5 million.

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