To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 11 May 2018 to Question 141671, what assessment her Department has made of whether the Palestinian Authority has resumed directly paying salaries to those serving sentences in Israeli jails for terrorist offences.
Earlier this month a senior DFID official secured confirmation from the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) Ministry of Finance that payments are made to the Ministry of Prisoner Affairs, which then directly transfers funds to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and their families. The UK government continues to press the PA to reform the prisoner payments system to become more needs-based, transparent and affordable. I have raised these concerns with the Palestinian Foreign Minister, and my officials regularly do likewise. No UK aid goes to prisoner payments. UK aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) is used exclusively to pay the salaries of vetted health and education public servants, including teachers, doctors and nurses, in the West Bank. Our money goes into a special, dedicated bank account before being paid to individuals who have been vetted in advance through the European Union Palestinian-European Socio-Economic Management Assistance Mechanism (PEGASE), ensuring UK funding is not diverted.