Abbas gave his approval on December 5, one day before a suicide bomber struck the Sharon mall in Netanya, killing five Israelis and wounding scores of others.
The legislation refers to the suicide terrorists as shahids (martyrs), a term generally applied to a person who dies in an operation fighting against the Jewish state.
Under the new law, the terrorist's family will be paid a base sum of $250 per month. The law takes into account extended family arrangements commonplace in Arabic societies. The families of married terrorists are entitled to an additional $50 per month, $15 is added for each child, $25 for each parent, and $15 for each brother who lived with the terrorist prior to his death.
The monies, to be paid out of the general budget of the Palestinian Authority, are significant incomes for average Arab families living in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.
Both Israel and the United States have taken legal action in recent years to shut down organizations that distribute money to the families of terrorists, especially suicide bombers.
The budget of the Palestinian Authority is largely subsidized by grants from European nations and the United States.
Israel also regularly transfers money to the PA. Much of that money is collected as customs duties on goods that enters Israel bound for the PA, or for Arabs living under its jurisdiction.
Below is an English translation of an overview of the new law, as published by the PA newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida:
"...The fifth clause of the draft law includes granting a monthly allowance to the family of every shahid, taken from the general budget of the [Palestinian] National Authority… The sum of the allowance is estimated to be $250, but if the shahid was married [at the time of death], another $50 are to be added to the sum mentioned above, and if the shahid had children, [an additional sum of] $15 will be allocated to each of them. In addition, if the shahid had a [living] father or mother, a sum of $25 will be allocated to each of them. If the shahid had brothers, whom he had been taking care of, each of them will be allocated [a sum of] $15... The transfer of the allowances to the families of the shahids is expected to be carried out by the Institute for the Care of the Families of Shahids, through special [bank] accounts [opened] for the eligible people...
MIM: According to the New PA rules the family of this suicide bomber who was a PA policeman will now be eligible for PA funding.
Message from the Prime Minister's Office
Communicated by the Government Press Office
It is Arafat who is solely responsible for the continuation of murderous terrorist attacks. Arafat has done nothing up until now to advance the cease-fire and he is acting - whether covertly or through inability - to torpedo General (ret) Zinni's mission. Israel will be unable - for long - to persist in a unilateral effort to implement the Tenet document. This must be clear to all who expect a change of direction on the part of the Palestinian Authority, i.e. a halt to violence and terror.
The terrorist who committed today's suicide bombing in Jerusalem was a Palestinian policeman, Mohammed Mashud Mohammed Hashaikeh, born in 1981, from the Tluza village near Nablus.
Hashaikeh was arrested in mid-February by the Palestinian security services following information they received about his intention to carry out a suicide attack in Israel. In his interrogation, Hashaikeh admitted to planning to carry out a suicide attack at the mall in Raanana and that he was working under the direction of Tanzim and Islamic Jihad activists in northern Samaria.
Hashaikeh even turned over the explosive belt he was going to use to carry out the attack. From the interrogation it emerged that Hashaikeh was also involved in the attempted car bomb attack near Mei Ami on February 8.
Several days after his arrest, the Palestinian Authority asked Israel to allow the transfer of Hashaikeh to jail in Ramallah. The reason for the request -- like similar requests made recently by the Palestinian Authority of Israel -- was that the Authority could keep Hashaikeh under "quality" arrest in Ramallah (namely, in a proper jail from which escape would be more difficult). Israel acceded to the request and allowed Hashaikeh to be transferred to Ramallah.
From today's events it is evident that Hashaikeh was in fact released after being transferred to Ramallah.
These events underscore not only the growing involvement of the Palestinian Authority security apparatuses in terror, but the refusal of the PA to arrest terrorists in an effective way for a period of time, even when the PA knows for certain that these individuals intend to carry out mass terror attacks.