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PA salaries to terrorists and their familes
PA salaries to terrorists and their familes
In April 2011, the Palestinian Authority Registry published a Government Resolution granting all Palestinian prisoners imprisoned in Israel for security and terror-related offenses a monthly salary from the PA (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 15, 2011). This new resolution, called PA Government Resolution of 2010, numbers 21 and 23, formalized what has long been a PA practice.

The PA defined which Palestinians would be considered "prisoners": "Anyone imprisoned in the occupation's [Israel's] prisons as a result of his participation in the struggle against the occupation" (Ch. 1 of Law of Prisoners, 2004/19, www.alasra.ps, accessed May 9, 2011)

According to the PA definition, more than 4,500 Palestinian prisoners (as of December 2012) serving time for terror-related offenses are recipients of PA salaries. This means that Palestinians convicted of crimes such as theft do not receive a salary, but Hamas and Fatah terrorist murderers do.

These monthly payments to prisoners are paid from the PA’s general budget and income taxes are paid, as is the case with all other PA salaries (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 19, 2011). According to the language of the PA regulation as well as PA economic reports on government salaries, the monthly salaries to prisoners range from 1,400 shekels to 12,000 shekels. The PA economic report listed the prisoners’ salaries as part of the PA general salary budget, which includes civil servants, military personnel and others. (Life and the Market, supplement to Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 19, 2011). It was not listed as a social service payment.

The PA’s general budget and salary budget is funded by numerous donor countries. Since 2011, PMW has been documenting that international donors' aid money given for salaries and to the PA general budget pays the salaries of Palestinian terrorists imprisoned in Israel. This is in violation of the letter or spirit of the laws of the funding countries.

Responding to queries from donor countries following PMW reports, the PA told the donor countries that they changed the wording of the law from “salaries” – “ratib”- to “assistance” – “i’ana.” British Minister of State stated in a letter that “we have discussed these issues with the PA at the highest levels” and “the PA has now changed the wording in the Cabinet Decision to unambiguously refer to the payment as assistance – i’ana.’” (Letter from Minister of State Alan Duncan to MP Mike Freer, see report here) However, the PA immediately contradicted what Duncan had claimed, calling it a rumor:

“[Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa] Karake denies rumors about changing salaries (Arabic: rawatib) into social assistance (Arabic: i'anat ijtima'iya)…” [WAFA (the official Palestinian Authority news agency), Dec. 27, 2012]
 
This was likewise corroborated by Prisoners' Club Chairman Qadura Fares, when he announced that the PA had finalized a final version of the law “which considers payments made to prisoners 'salaries,' (Arabic: ratib) to which no other term applies.” [Al-Quds Internet edition, Dec. 27, 2012]

In August 2014, the PA implemented another ruse to evade pressure from international ‎donors. The PA closed the PA Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs and announced the ‎establishment of a new PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, which they claimed ‎would pay the salaries. ‎

However, the PLO Commission was new only in name. The PLO body would have the ‎same responsibilities and pay the exact same amounts of salaries to prisoners; the ‎former PA Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs, Issa Karake, became the Director of the new ‎PLO Commission and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas retained overall supervision of ‎the PLO Commission. [PNN Palestine News Network (independent Palestinian news agency), Aug. 29, 2014] [Ayjal radio (independent Palestinian station), Aug. 30, 2014] [Official PA TV, May 9, 2015]

Nevertheless, many international donors accepted PA assurances that the PA was no ‎longer paying the salaries to terrorist prisoners. For instance, the Dutch government ‎made this statement in April 2015: ‎

‎“The responsibility for payments to prisoners was transferred to the PLO and will ‎no longer be charged to the budget of the PA, and these [payments to prisoners] ‎are not funded by PA tax revenues or donor funds. The PLO pays such costs ‎from their own income, where the Cabinet has no access.” [Question and ‎Answer session, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, April 22, 2015] ‎
 
Ample evidence contradicts the PA assurances to the Dutch and other donors. These ‎findings are based entirely on information supplied by the PA: ‎

‎- In January 2015, the PA Ministry of Finance announced that the PA budget includes ‎transfer of salaries to prisoners in Israeli jails who were from Gaza. [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, ‎Jan. 6, 2015] This openly contradicts the PA claim that the PA no longer pays salaries ‎to prisoners.‎

‎- When Israel withheld PA tax income in the first months of 2015, the PA announced ‎that prisoners receiving up to 2,000 shekels in salary a month would continue to ‎receive their full salary and those receiving more than 2,000 shekels would only ‎receive 60% of their salary -- the same reduction that was imposed on civil servants. ‎‎[Wattan News Agency, March 5, 2015] Were the PLO paying salaries from Arab donor ‎money and not the PA, Israel's holding up PA money would have no impact on terrorist ‎prisoners’ salaries. Clearly, it is still PA money paying terrorist prisoners’ salaries.‎

To view all PMW reports on PA salaries to terrorist prisoners, click here.

The following section documents all developments related to salaries for ‎Palestinian prisoners imprisoned in Israel:‎

PA government condemns passage in first reading of Israeli bill that cuts equivalent amount of money from Israeli tax allowances to the PA that the PA pays to terrorists 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 9, 2018
Headline: "The [PA] government emphasized its full support for the results of the [Palestinian] National Council meeting"
       "During its weekly meeting that was held yesterday [May 8, 2018] in Ramallah, led by [PA Prime Minister] Rami Hamdallah… the [PA] government condemned the fact that the Israeli Parliament passed a bill (i.e., passed in a first reading; see note below) that allows the Israeli government to confiscate the Palestinian money and deduct the allowances (mukhassasat) of the prisoners and Martyrs' (Shahids') families from the tax revenues, which are Palestinian money and not [given as] an act of kindness by Israel… The government emphasized: 'Any deduction from these revenues and its cloaking in a legal framework is nothing but an Israeli act of robbery and theft of Palestinian money.'"

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At event honoring Marwan Barghouti, Fatah official honors terrorist Abu Jihad: “[He] was and will remain our example and a role model,” opposes US demands regarding prisoners' salaries 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Apr. 16, 2018
      “The popular campaign to release leader Marwan Barghouti and the rest of the prisoners sitting in the occupation’s prison marked the 16th anniversary of Fatah Central Committee member Marwan Barghouti’s arrest yesterday [April 15, 2018] at a rally held at the Palace of Culture in Ramallah, with the participation of hundreds of members of our people.
Fatah Movement Deputy General Leader (i.e., Deputy Chairman) and [Fatah] Central Committee member Mahmoud Al-Aloul blessed prisoner Marwan Barghouti. He noted: ‘On the anniversary of Fatah Central Committee member Marwan Barghouti’s kidnapping, (i.e., terrorist who was arrested and imprisoned for orchestrating attacks in which 5 were murdered) we salute him and all the prisoners of freedom for their day – Prisoner’s Day that will take place in two days – since they are a symbol of our pride, and they are in the hearts of all our people.’ …
He added: ‘The anniversary of Marwan Barghouti’s kidnapping takes place at the same time as the anniversary of the death as a Martyr (Shahid) of leader Khalil Al-Wazir ‘Abu Jihad’ (i.e., terrorist, responsible for murder of 125)… Khalil Al-Wazir was and will remain our example and a role model… He emphasized that the leadership opposes all of the external pressures concerning the prisoners, which [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas emphasized: ‘If we will only be left with a few Dirhams (i.e., a currency in some Arab states), we will allocate them to the families of the prisoners as a sign of appreciation for their sacrifice.’"
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PA Justice Minister, representing PA PM, on US and Israeli demands that PA stop terrorists’ salaries: “We will not abandon the families of the Martyrs and the prisoners of freedom" 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Apr. 10, 2018
Headline: “Abu Diyak: We will not bargain over our Martyrs’ blood and will not exchange our promise and loyalty to them for all the money in the world”
      “[PA] Minister of Justice Ali Abu Diyak said yesterday [April 9, 2018]: ‘We will not bargain over our Martyrs’ (Shahids') blood and will not exchange the promise and loyalty to the Martyrs for all the money in the world. We will remain committed to the promise to the Martyrs of freedom and to the victims of the Israeli terror crimes. We will not backtrack on the path of the struggle with all of the legitimate means until realizing our Martyrs’ dream and our people’s aspirations – freedom, independence, the end of the occupation, and the establishment of the independent Palestinian state whose capital is Jerusalem.’
This was said in his speech as the representative of His Honor [PA] Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah at the opening of the National Association of the Families of the Martyrs [of Palestine’s] fifth general conference.
He said: ‘We will not abandon the families of the Martyrs and the prisoners of freedom. The government, led by [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas, will continue to fulfill its national, moral, and human obligation towards the Martyrs’ families.'"

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PLO official accuses the US of waging a “calculated incitement campaign,” claiming that stopping payments to terrorists constitutes “an open call to physically eliminate” Abbas 
Source: WAFA, official PA news agency, Mar. 29, 2018
Headline: "Erekat: The American administration and Israel are waging an incitement campaign against our people and its leadership"

"PLO Executive Committee Secretary, [Fatah Central Committee member, and PLO Chief Negotiator] Saeb Erekat condemned the calculated incitement campaign that the American administration and Israel – the occupying authority – are waging against our people and its leadership
He added: ‘The direct and personal attack against [PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas] and the incitement against him by [Israeli Minister of Defense Avigdor] Liberman due to the payment of the salaries (rawatib) of the families of the Palestinian prisoners and Martyrs (Shahids) constitutes incitement against the Palestinian national movement and an open call to physically eliminate the president.’
He noted that Palestine is paying the monetary price of the occupation and the price of it shirking its responsibility and obligation as the power holding [the prisoners] according to international law. He mentioned that articles 81 and 98 of the Fourth Geneva Convention obligate the occupying power to pay allowances (mukhassasat) to the prisoners, as that is part of its responsibility towards them, and to support the families they support if they do not have sufficient means to live on (sic., these articles refer to the rights of protected persons and internees, not those imprisoned for criminal acts –Ed.).
Erekat emphasized that the Palestinian people's struggle against the colonialist occupier is a historical and legal right of all peoples subjected to occupation, and emphasized that the Palestinian leadership will not abandon the prisoners, as this is a legal and moral obligation."
Abbas’ spokesman: US decisions, including decision to condition aid on cutting salaries to terrorists, are “a type of declaration of war on the Palestinian people” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 28, 2018
Headline: “Abu Rudeina: The decisions of Congress and the American administration regarding stopping the aid are a declaration of war on our people”
       “Official [PA] Presidential Spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina said that the recent American decisions, and particularly Congress’ decision that calls to stop the direct aid to the PA (i.e., the Taylor Force Act) and add $700 million for the benefit of the Israeli occupation army (refers to omnibus spending bill allocation for US-Israeli missile defense programs –Ed.)… are a type of declaration of war on the Palestinian people and support for the policy of the occupation and aggression."

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Fatah official: “Let them stop all of the aid to us, we will not sell the family of a prisoner or Martyr” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 28, 2018
         “[Fatah Central Committee member, Fatah Commissioner of National Relations, and Fatah Commissioner for Relations with Lebanon Azzam] Al-Ahmad said: ‘Our people’s struggle is not merchandise that is sold and bought, it is a legitimate struggle guaranteed by the international conventions for the peoples bowing under occupation.’ These statements were said as part of his response to the claim of Israeli Parliament representative [Nachman] Shai, who said during the meetings of the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s c ommittee on Middle East affairs that the PA is paying the aid money as salaries to the families of the Palestinian Martyrs (Shahids) and prisoners, and described them as terrorists. Al-Ahmad added: ‘Let them stop all of the aid to us, we will not sell the family of a prisoner or Martyr in exchange for this money – they fought in order to get rid of the occupation.’”
PA Ministry of Information: Taylor Force Act is “political blackmail”  
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 26, 2018
Headline: “The [PA] Ministry of Information: The signing of the [Taylor] Force [Act] turned Washington into a partner of the occupation”
      “The [PA] Ministry of Information said that US President Donald Trump’s signing of that which is called the ‘[Taylor] Force’ Act – which forbids the American Department of State from transferring aid to the PA and to the members of our people (sic., the law allows certain humanitarian aid to continue while stopping all other aid until the PA stops paying terror salaries) – constitutes a strengthening of the political blackmail, and a continuation of the hostility towards our people from Washington, its denial of our legitimate rights, and its rebellion against international law."

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Fatah movement opposes Taylor Force Act, Fatah official: “The White House [is] competing with the Israeli Parliament and the Israeli Cabinet in displaying hatred and racism” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 25, 2018
     "The Fatah Movement said in a statement that it 'is not at all surprised by the American Congress’ latest decision, which connects the American aid with stopping the financial aid to the families of the prisoners and Martyrs (Shahids) (refers to the Taylor Force Act, which was passed into law on March 23, 2018; see note below –Ed.).' The movement emphasized that our brave prisoners and heroic Martyrs fought for freedom and independence, and that the rights of their families are not up for bargaining or negotiation… Fatah Revolutionary Council member [and Fatah Spokesperson] Osama Al-Qawasmi said that Congress and the White House are competing with the Israeli Parliament and the Israeli Cabinet in displaying hatred and racism against the fighting and resolute Palestinian people."
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PLO delegate to US defends payments to terrorists, says “the Palestinian leadership…is committed to letting them live in dignity, and will not submit to financial extortion” of Taylor Force Act 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 25, 2018
      "Head of the PLO General Commission in the US Husam Zomlot said in response to the Taylor Force Act, which stops the aid to the PA because of its payments to the families of the Martyrs (Shahids) and the prisoners, that the Palestinian leadership is committed to the rights of the families of the Martyrs and the prisoners, is committed to letting them live in dignity, and will not submit to financial extortion. He emphasized that the Palestinian people’s legitimate rights are not for sale…
He said: 'The Taylor Force Act arises from political motives, and Congress is attempting to use it as a means of political pressure, especially given the efforts to pass what is called “the deal of the century” (refers to US President Donald Trump's as yet unpublished peace plan –Ed.), whose goal is to eliminate the Palestinian cause.'"
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Several PA and PLO officials attack Taylor Force Act and appointment of John Bolton, defend payments to terrorists: "New American thuggery against Palestine" 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 24, 2018
Headline: "New American thuggery against Palestine"

"Palestinian opposition to the American blackmail: The Martyrs and prisoners are sacred symbols of freedom and struggle

The American administration is continuing its aggressive steps against Palestine: The American Congress has conditioned its aid to the PA on stopping payment of the Martyrs’ (Shahids) and prisoners' allowances (mukhassasat), while US President Donald Trump has announced the appointment of hardliner John Bolton – who has a long history of hostility towards the Palestinians – as his national security advisor."
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PA Ministry of Information attacks Taylor Force Act, says “the freedom Martyrs and our brave prisoners are not highway robbers or gang members, but rather one of the elements of the legitimate resistance to the occupation” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 24, 2018
     "The [PA] Ministry of Information said that the American Congress’ demand to stop paying the Martyrs’ (Shahids) and prisoners' allowances (mukhassasat) in return for the continuation of the aid to the institutions of the Palestinian state is a continuation of the political extortion, extremism, and support for the occupation.
It said that the decision proves that Washington and [US] President [Donald] Trump's administration are not just biased in favor of the occupation and the settlement enterprise, but have become a part of [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu's government, officially joined the extremism and racism, and ignored the fact that the American Constitution promotes freedom and justice. The ministry emphasized that the freedom Martyrs and our brave prisoners are not highway robbers or gang members, but rather one of the elements of the legitimate resistance to the occupation, which is supported by international law."
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PA Spokesman condemns Taylor Force Act, says “the Martyrs and prisoners are sacred symbols of freedom, struggle, protecting human dignity” 
Source: WAFA, official PA news agency, Mar. 23, 2018
     "Official Spokesman of the [PA] National Unity Government Yusuf Al-Mahmoud expressed the government's rejection and condemnations of Congress's conditioning the continuation of the American aid to the Palestinian state’s institutions on the Martyrs' (Shahids) and prisoners' allowances (mukhassasat) being stopped (refers to the Taylor Force Act, which was passed into law on March 23, 2018; see note below –Ed.).
Al-Mahmoud said in a statement on Friday [March 23, 2018]: 'The American Congress must demand to end the occupation, stop the suffering of the Palestinian Arab people, and threaten the occupation authorities that it will stop aiding them if they continue the occupation and settlement, as the occupation is the one causing the spilling of our people's blood and their being put in its prisons.'
The official spokesman continued: 'In the eyes of our people, our nation, and our cause, the Martyrs and prisoners are sacred symbols of freedom, struggle, protecting human dignity, and resistance to submission and humiliation. All of these titles are noble titles, and an anchored right of all humans, which cannot be bought or sold for any fortune in the world.'"
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Official PA TV news reports on PA spokesman condemning the Taylor Force Act, defending the PA government’s payments to terrorists 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Mar. 23, 2018
Official PA TV News, on Official Spokesman of the PA Government Yusuf Al-Mahmoud’s condemnation of the US Congress passing the Taylor Force Act on March 23, 2018

Official PA TV newsreader: “Official Spokesman of the [PA] National Unity Government Yusuf Al-Mahmoud expressed the government’s opposition and condemnation of the continued American aid to the State of Palestine’s institutions b eing conditioned on the allowances (mukhassasat) to the Martyrs (Shahids) and prisoners being stopped.
Al-Mahmoud emphasized that the American Congress should have demanded the end of the occupation and stopping of the suffering of the members of our people, and set as a condition before the occupation authorities the stopping of aid if they continue their occupation and settlement. Al-Mahmoud emphasized that the Martyrs and prisoners are sacred symbols of freedom and struggle, and that all of these titles are noble human titles and a right guaranteed for all people, and they will not be sold or bought for all the money in the world.”
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The Taylor Force Act - a bill named after US citizen Taylor Force who was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist in Tel Aviv on March 8, 2016, which calls to cut almost all funding to the PA if it continues paying salaries to terrorists and allowances to families of "Martyrs." On March 23, 2018, the bill was approved by the American Congress and signed into law by US President Donald Trump.
PLO Department for Negotiation Affairs releases report defending the PA’s payments to terrorist prisoners, claiming Israel should be the one paying them 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 9, 2018
Headline: “[PLO] Department for Negotiation Affairs report titled The Colonialist Occupation System and the Palestinian Prisoners”

“The [PLO] Department for Negotiation Affairs yesterday [March 8, 2018] published a document under the title The Colonialist Occupation System and the Palestinian Prisoners regarding the prisoners and that which concerns their salaries (rawatib) and the salaries of their families according to international law, in comparison to what Israel is doing.
The following are the main points of the report (PMW was unable to locate the full report –Ed.):

The law to deduct the prisoners’ allowances (mukhassasat, “law” refers to a new Israeli bill; see note below –Ed.) is a racist law that violates Israel’s obligations as the one holding the prisoners in everything regarding their allowances, which is anchored in articles 81 and 98 of the Fourth Geneva Convention that Israel is blatantly violating (sic., the Fourth Geneva Convention does not apply. Those articles explicitly refer to interned protected persons – not convicted terrorist prisoners; see note below).
Article 81 determines that the body that imprisons protected persons needs to sustain them and provide them with medical treatment, and that it must not deduct anything to cover these expenses from the prisoners’ allowances, their salaries, and payments to which they are entitled.
The state that is holding the prisoners must also sustain the people that they [the prisoners] provide for, if they do not have sufficient means of subsistence or are unable to sustain themselves.
Article 98 determines that the state that is holding the prisoners must provide them with allowances, as this is part of its responsibility towards them. 

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PLO Chief Negotiator says Israel is "shirking its obligations to pay the salaries" of Palestinian terrorist prisoners, and should "commit itself to paying the allowances of the prisoners" 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 1, 2018
Headline: “The PLO and prisoners’ institutions demanded to cancel the racist legislation against the prisoners”

“The PLO and prisoners’ institutions demanded to cancel [Israel’s] racist legislation against the prisoners in the Israeli occupation’s prisons. This was during a meeting of PLO Executive Committee Secretary, [Fatah Central Committee member, and PLO Chief Negotiator] Saeb Erekat, Director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake, and [PA-funded] Prisoners’ Club President Qadura Fares…
Erekat noted that the [Israeli] law to deduct the prisoners’ allowances (mukhassasat, refers to an Israeli bill; see note below –Ed.) comes as part of an organized incitement campaign to present the Palestinian people’s struggle as a crime and to mislead world public opinion by marking our legal struggle against the occupation as terrorism.
He emphasized that Palestine has been paying the financial price of the occupation in light of [Israel] shirking its obligations to pay the salaries (rawatib) of the prisoners and the families that they provide for, and he mentioned Israel’s obligations as the one holding them [the prisoners], which also include financial obligations according to the Fourth Geneva Convention (sic., the Fourth Geneva Convention does not apply, see note below).
He said: ‘Israel is not only violating international law, but is also stealing and manipulating the prisoners’ money in favor of the occupation state through the extension of their term of imprisonment and the profits that it derives from what the prisoners pay in exchange for their food and their basic commodities for which the occupation state is obligated."

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PLO officials defend PA payments to terrorists, saying the PA will “defend their struggle in every way, and work for their release” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 28, 2018
Headline: “[PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs conference on the occupation’s terror and the racist laws against the prisoners”

“The [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs held a conference in Ramallah yesterday afternoon [Feb. 27, 2018] on the topic of ‘Israeli terror and legislation of racist laws against the Palestinian prisoners in the occupation’s prisons’…
Fatah Movement Central Committee member, [Fatah Commissioner of Mobilization and Organization in the West Bank, and PLO Central Council member] Jamal Muhaisen, Director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake, [PA-funded] Prisoners’ Club Chairman Qadura Fares, and Arab Israeli Parliament Member Osama Sa’adi spoke at the conference…
Muhaisen said: ‘The Palestinian leadership, led by [PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas], is placing the prisoners’ cause at the top of its priorities. The Palestinian leadership and people are proud of their prisoners’ movement. They will always support their rights, defend their struggle in every way, and work for their release and the emptying of the prisons.’
Karake emphasized that the goal that Israel is seeking to attain by recently legislating racist laws against the Palestinian prisoners – with the latest example of this being the bill to deduct great amounts of money from the PA’s tax revenues, at an amount equaling that which is paid to the families of the Martyrs (Shahids) and to the prisoners (see note below –Ed.) - … is first and foremost to define the Palestinian struggle as a crime and denounce it as terror…

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“It's our… moral obligation” to pay terrorist salaries, says director of PLO Commission of Prisoners. "We’re proud of this" 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Feb. 26, 2018

Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake
: "I’ll quote [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas: ... 'Until the last day of my life, we won't stop this support. It's important' ... The family of every Palestinian prisoner receives social aid. We’re proud of this, not ashamed of it, and we say this openly, because it's our national, human, and moral obligation, and the obligation of the struggle. It is supported by the Palestinian leadership and by the Palestinian government."
[Official PA TV, PLO Institutions, Feb. 26, 2018]

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for a rebuttal of the claim that PA salaries to imprisoned terrorists are "social aid"
PLO official defends practice of paying salaries to terrorists and their families, saying "it is our right to celebrate them" 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Feb. 22, 2018
Official PA TV program Giants of Endurance, on released prisoners in the Tulkarem district, hosting Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake

Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake: “This people greatly appreciates the prisoners for being prisoners of freedom, and this is a political message and response to the attack that the occupation authorities are carrying out against the Palestinian prisoners through racist laws and legislation and aggression against the prisoners’ rights, with the latest of them being the bill connected to holding or stealing the Palestinian tax money on the pretext of aid to the families of the prisoners, Martyrs (Shahids), and wounded (see note below –Ed.) . We are meeting- it is our right to visit them, it is our right to celebrate them, it is our right to rejoice with them after the release so that we will tell the world that the prisoners’ cause is a central cause and a basic cause. These prisoners are prisoners of freedom and legitimate fighters for the right to self-determination. They are not terrorists and they are not criminals as the Israeli occupation authorities keep claiming. Martyrs have fallen inside the prisons; prisoners, sick people, wounded, and t hose suffering from very serious illnesses have ascended to Heaven. They are witness to how the prisons have become a place of sowing death and sowing oppression among the Palestinian people. They are witness to many thousands of prisoners who have been arrested on a daily basis, the phenomenon of arrest has become a daily phenomenon – every day there are arrests. People have gone out and entered such that a quarter of the Palestinian people have entered the Israeli occupation’s prisons.”

PLO Prisoners’ Commission director: Israel has “racist” laws against prisoners, the PA “refuses to renounce the prisoners, the wounded, and their families”  
Source: Donia Al-Watan (independent Palestinian news agency), Feb. 13, 2018
    “Director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake… emphasized that Israel hopes to criminalize the national struggle through its racist laws against the prisoners, and emphasized the position of the leadership that refuses to renounce the prisoners, the wounded, and their families.”
PLO official: PA should sue Israel if it cuts equivalent amount of money from tax allowances to the PA that the PA pays to terrorists 
Source: Donia Al-Watan (independent Palestinian news agency), Feb. 11, 2018
Headline: "Karake: Steps of protest by the administrative prisoners in the middle of next month"
      "Director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake… said that the intention of the Israeli Ministerial Committee of Legislation to discuss a bill to steal the allowances (mukhassasat) of the Martyrs (Shahids) and prisoners constitutes robbery and theft of the Palestinian people's money. He explained that the PA and the [PA] Ministry of Finance must submit a lawsuit against the Israeli government if it does indeed do this."

On Feb. 11, 2018, the Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation was slated to review a bill proposed by the Israeli Ministry of Defense that would deduct the amount of money the PA pays imprisoned terrorists and families of “Martyrs” from the tax money Israel collects for the PA.
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