Mobile subscribers come in two general varieties: pre-paid and post-paid.
Post-paid subscribers pay AFTER they receive service each month. These customers do not know exactly how much they will pay for service due to the variability in usage but have an understanding with the wireless carrier on the basic parameters of $X for Y voice minutes and Z GB of data usage.
In contrast, pre-paid customers pay BEFORE they use the service. Sometimes this is done because the consumer wants to have a defined liability and ensure they are not burdened by overage charges. Pre-paid plans are often used by consumers with poor credit.
In the early days of wireless, there were only post-paid subscribers as the handsets and calling plans were expensive. The cost kept the marketplace limited to only the wealthy and consumers who truly needed the service. To attract the masses, carriers introduced pre-paid plans which were not only much cheaper but avoided the lengthy contracts and background checks. The mobile industry took off.
This is the template the Palestinian Authority has used with terrorism, inverting pre-paid and post-paid to attract the masses.
Post-paid Terrorism for the Masses
In the early days of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the group took a significant amount of time to recruit and train its killers. Money was spent on guns, ammunition and bombs, and considerable time was invested in surveillance, training and planning. The massacre of the Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games, the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre and the numerous airplane hijackings in the 1970’s were carried out by devout fanatics. These were pre-paid terrorist activities with the terrorist group investing a lot upfront, limiting both the number of attacks and PLO membership.
The world changed after the jihadist terrorism against the United States on 9/11/2001. The U.S. pushed the world to fight terrorist groups directly with arms AND by cutting off their source of funding. Even the United Nations got involved.
The impact was felt in Israel.
HAMAS, the Palestinian jihadist terrorist group, was forced to wage war on a more limited budget and use less expensive weaponry to kill Jews including cheap and poorly constructed missiles, bombs attached to balloons and thousands of young men with rocks.
For its part, the Palestinian Authority employs a “pay-to-slay” program, a post-paid terrorism financing plan in which it needn’t directly recruit individuals or invest in armaments for attack. The PA pays the terrorists and their families based on how long they spend in Israeli jails which is correlated to their crimes – more dead Israelis equals more jail time and more money.
This contract is considered sacrosanct. Acting-President of the PA Mahmoud Abbas said “[e]ven if we have only a penny left, we will give it to the martyrs, the prisoners and their families…. We view the prisoners and the martyrs as planets and stars in the skies of the Palestinian struggle, and they have priority in everything.”
Consider Hakim Awad, just 18-years old when he burst into a Jewish family’s home one night while they slept. He stabbed the parents and three children to death, including a three-month-old infant. The PA considers his actions noble and pays his family $14,000 per year. Should Awad live to the age of 80, the PA will pay nearly $2 million to Awad’s family.
This system of “pay-to-slay” works well for all the Arab parties. The terrorists and their families get the money directly rather than it going to weapons, and they have clarity that the greater destruction they can inflict, the more money will go to their families. The Palestinian Authority gains millions of terrorists-in-waiting while it maintains that it is not involved in terrorism as the world is accustomed to thinking about terrorism on the basis of pre-paid financing. This allows Abbas to stand at the General Assembly of the United Nations while playing the victim and continue to receive millions of dollars from countries.
Abbas’ post-paid terrorism has worked. Stabbings, rock-throwings and car rammings ballooned after Hamas’s failed war against Israel in 2014. Countries around the world continue to give monies to the PA considering it “humanitarian” support because they are in favor of an independent Palestinian state, even though it is clear that they are funding terrorism. The Palestinian terrorists-in-waiting read about the funds transfers and consequently know their families will be paid well and that they will be honored as heroes in their communities.
In the early days of mobile, post-paid wireless subscribers were considered much more valuable than pre-paid subscribers, as they spent much more money each month and were more loyal, less likely to leave the carrier. That has changed over time with each spending roughly the same amount today.
In terrorism, the dynamics have also converged. The loyalty of post-paid terrorists-in-waiting has matched the devoted jihadists, knowing that the monies and honor are guaranteed.
As long as donor charities and countries continue to fund the Palestinian Authority, the value of the post-paid terrorists will continue to rise and the blood of Israeli Jews will continue to flow.
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