Court Slams Palestinian “Pay for Slay” Program in Landmark Ruling

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a meeting of the Palestinian Central Council in Ramallah, Jan. 14, 2018 (Reuters / Mohamad Torokman)
December 17, 2020
TORONTO – Canada’s Federal Court has issued a scathing indictment of a Palestinian scheme to incentivize terrorism in a recent immigration case. 

In a judgment released last week, the Court upheld a decision by the Refugee Appeal Division to deny refugee status to a Palestinian woman over her work for the Palestinian Martyrs’ Families Foundation between 1984 and 2006. The Foundation is at the centre of the Palestinian pay for slay program, in which terrorists and their families are provided with salaries and benefits well in excess of what the average Palestinian enjoys.

The Court affirmed that the “Foundation was created by the PLO to fulfill the criminal purpose of incentivising acts of terrorism against Israelis,” and even added that “the PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization] had a criminal purpose.” It therefore found that the applicant, Khitam Khudeish, was ineligible for refugee status under Article 1(f) of the Refugee Convention, which bars those who commit “a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity.”

In 2016, when Khudeish arrived in Canada and claimed refugee status, her husband was serving as Palestinian Ambassador to Angola, according to the Court. This decision is believed to be the first addressing the Palestinian pay-for-slay scheme not just in Canada, but throughout the Western World.

“The Federal Court has struck a massive blow against Palestinian terrorism and in favour of its victims,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “Governments around the world must take heed of this decision and use all means to pressure the Palestinian Authority to cease incentivizing the murder of Israelis. 

“We call on the Government of Canada, as a first step, to designate the Palestinian Martyrs’ Families Foundation as a terrorist entity under the Criminal Code.

In 2018, the United States adopted the Taylor Force Act, which halted direct U.S. funding to the Palestinian Authority until it halts pay-for-slay. Australia took similar steps later that same year.

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