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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:‎

Hamas prisoners whose salaries were frozen by the PA have been restored 
Source: YouTube channel of the independent Palestinian news agency Wattan, July 14, 2017
Video on the YouTube channel of the independent Palestinian news agency Wattan, on the renewal of salaries to Hamas prisoners whose salaries were stopped, hosting Chairman of the PA-funded Palestinian Prisoners' Club Qadura Fares and spokesman for the prisoners whose salaries were stopped Mansour Shamasneh.

Spokesman for the prisoners whose salaries were stopped Mansour Shamasneh: "The salaries of the released [Hamas] prisoners in the West Bank have been renewed - all of them, without exception. Secondly, the salaries of the [Hamas] prisoners in the occupation's prisons that were stopped have been renewed - all of them, without exception."
Chairman of the PA-funded Palestinian Prisoners' Club Qadura Fares: "The Martyrs (Shahids), prisoners, and wounded, together with their families, need to live in dignity and pride, especially at a time when this fighting group is a target for attacks by the occupation and its allies."
PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs says 6,300 Palestinians currently imprisoned in Israel 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 12, 2017
Headline: “Human rights report: Israel arrested 388 civilians in June”

“Institutions dealing with prisoners affairs and human rights, the [PA-funded] Prisoners’ Club, the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, the Addameer Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association, and the [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, published their monthly report yesterday [July 11, 2017]…
The number of Palestinian prisoners in the occupation’s prisons has reached approximately 6,300 prisoners, 57 of them female prisoners, 10 of whom are female minors, 300 children, and 486 administrative detainees, along with 11 PA Parliament (Legislative Council) members.”

Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights – Founded in Gaza in 1999, its stated goals are the promotion and protection of human rights in Palestine, and especially in the Gaza Strip. NGO Monitor has documented that the Al-Mezan Center is active in many campaigns against Israel, delegitimizes Israel’s right to exist, and is a signatory to the Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS which calls for an end to Israel’s “occupation,” and advocates Palestinians’ right of return to all of Israel.

Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association – A Palestinian civil organization based in Jerusalem and established in 1992 whose stated goals are the support of Palestinian “political prisoners” held in Israeli and Palestinian prisons. NGO Monitor has documented that Addameer is active in many campaigns against Israel, and demonizes Israel.

PA sends 6,145 civil servants in Gaza to early retirement, as part of its feud with Hamas 
Source: Donia Al-Watan (independent Palestinian news agency), July 4, 2017
Headline: "The [PA] government decides to make 6,145 employees take an early pension in the southern districts"
      "The [PA] national unity government, in its weekly meeting today (Tuesday) [July 4, 2017], decided to make 6,145 employees in the southern districts (the Gaza Strip) [parentheses in source] take an early pension.  Official [PA] Government Spokesperson Yusuf Al-Mahmoud explained that the government emphasized that this step, the steps that preceded it, and every other step likely to be taken in this framework are temporary steps, [whose cancellation] depends on Hamas abandoning the rift [with Fatah]… The government emphasized that the Hamas Movement collects hundreds of millions of [Israeli] shekels a month and does not return them to the public coffers, while the [PA] government is allocating more than 450 million shekels a month for the southern districts."

Click "full article" for a longer excerpt
Fatah official: Salaries to terrorists is "connected to the Palestinian historical narrative"  
Source: Wattan (independent Palestinian news agency)‎, July 2, 2017
     "Regarding the salaries (rawatib) of the Martyrs (Shahids) and prisoners, [Fatah Movement Central Committee member, Fatah Commissioner of Mobilization and Organization in the West Bank, and PLO Central Council member] Dr. [Jamal] Muhaisen emphasized that this is not a financial matter, but rather a matter that is connected to the Palestinian historical narrative, according to which the prisoners and Martyrs represent our Palestinian people’s struggle. He praised the position of [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas, who responded to the American administration: ‘Even if I will have to leave my position, I will not compromise on the salary of a Martyr or a prisoner, as I am the president of the entire Palestinian people, including the prisoners, the Martyrs, the injured, the expelled, and the uprooted.’”
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Click "full article" for a longer excerpt
Head of PLO Prisoners’ Commission defends terrorist prisoners – not criminals and terrorists, Israel is “attacking” them by withholding taxes equivalent of salaries 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 2, 2017
Headline: "Karake: An unprecedented Israeli legal attack against the prisoners' rights"

"Director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake warned against the consequences of the unprecedented legal and diplomatic attack that the Israeli occupation government is carrying out against the prisoners' rights…
Karake said that the occupation is attacking the prisoners in a different way than in the past, as it no longer is satisfied with harassing prisoners inside the prison by using means of oppression and harming their rights and dignity, but rather is also attempting to deny the prisoners their political and legal aspect as a cause of national liberation…
Karake mentioned the nature of the Israeli attack against the prisoners through arbitrary laws that the Israeli Parliament legislates, the widespread incitement against the prisoners, and considering them as criminals and terrorists…
Karake said these things during visits to families of prisoners, Martyrs (Shahids), and released prisoners in the Hebron, Bethlehem, and Ramallah districts for the blessed Eid Al-Fitr (i.e., Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan)…
The delegation visited [the families of] prisoners sitting in prison Nidal and Muhammad Abu Akr, Muhammad Zawahreh, Nasser Abu Sorour, Riyad Al-Amour, Shadi Shalaldeh, and Yusuf and Alaa Skafi (see notes below –Ed.)."

[Click full article for more information]
Abbas vows never to stop salaries to terrorists: "Even if I will have to leave my position, I will not compromise on the salary of a Martyr or a prisoner" 
Source: Official Fatah Facebook page, July 2, 2017
Image and text posted on the official Fatah Facebook page


Posted text:
“From the words of [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas"
The image shows a picture of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas with the text: “‘Even if I will have to leave my position, I will not compromise on the salary (rawatib) of a Martyr (Shahid) or a prisoner, as I am the president of the entire Palestinian people, including the prisoners, the Martyrs, the injured, the expelled, and the uprooted.’
[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas.”
Text at bottom of image: “Information Office of the Fatah Movement Mobilization and Organization Commission”

The image also includes a picture of Yasser Arafat in the background and the Fatah logo at the bottom which includes a grenade, crossed rifles, and the PA map of “Palestine” that presents all of Israel as “Palestine” together with the PA areas.
Click to view bulletin
Chairman of Prisoners’ Club: We never lied to donors about salaries to terrorists; money goes to “legitimate resistance” 
Source: Donia Al-Watan (independent Palestinian news agency), June 24, 2017
Headline: “Qadura Fares: The salaries of the prisoners and Martyrs will not stop”

“Chairman of the [PA-funded] Prisoners’ Club Qadura Fares said that the international pressures to stop the payments of the prisoners and Martyrs (Shahids) are not something new and are the product of ongoing Israeli incitement.
He added: ‘We have always told the truth to the donor countries – that the donors’ money is used for the PA salaries, and we emphasize that the money is also used for political and civilian efforts against the occupation, the settlement, and the resolve against it [the occupation], also including, among other things, our legitimate resistance (‎term here refers to events that include violence against Israeli civilians such as rock-‎throwing, stabbings, and even shootings -Ed.).’
Fares emphasized that the topic of the prisoners and released prisoners’ salaries (rawatib) is an essential and ideological issue that touches the core of our life as a Palestinian people, and it is part of the direct contradiction between the Israeli occupation’s narrative and our narrative. He also noted that there is no [need for] concern regarding the issue of the salaries.
He continued: ‘No one in the PLO leadership can renounce this basic principle under any circumstances, because there is a clear and open consensus about not stopping the salaries, and therefore I am not concerned at all.’”
Fatah official states that the Palestinian leadership "will not submit to the American and Israeli pressures" regarding salaries to terrorists and their families  
Source: Facebook page of Abbas Zaki, Fatah Central Committee member and Fatah Commissioner for Arab and China Relations, June 23, 2017
Text and pictures posted on the Facebook page of Fatah Central Committee member and Fatah Commissioner for Arab and China Relations Abbas Zaki

Posted text: "[Fatah Central Committee member and] Fatah Movement Commissioner for Arab and China Relations Abbas Zaki participated together with residents of the Al-Fawwar refugee camp [southwest of Hebron] in a reception for released prisoner Saleh Abu Rabi' who was released today [June 23, 2017] after 15 years in the occupation's prisons.
In a speech that he gave on behalf of the Palestinian leadership, Zaki emphasized that the prisoners’ issue is one of the top priorities of the Palestinian leadership, and that the leadership will not submit to the American and Israeli pressures in any attempt to harm the salaries (rawatib) of the families of the Martyrs (Shahids) and prisoners."

The pictures show Abbas Zaki on stage at the event, with large sign in the background.

Text on sign: "Reception for heroic prisoner Saleh Al-Din Abu Rabi'
One of the leaders of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades in the southern [West Bank]"
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Saleh Al-Din Abu Rabi' – an official of Fatah’s military wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades. He was released in June 2017 after 15 years’ imprisonment in Israel. PMW has been unable to verify the circumstances of his crime and imprisonment.

PLO official: Salaries to imprisoned terrorists and "Martyrs'" families will not stop  
Source: PNN Palestine News Network (independent Palestinian news agency), June 22, 2017
      "Under the auspices of PLO Executive Committee member and Secretary-General of the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front (PPSF) Dr. Ahmed Majdalani, businessman Bashar Jaber organized a Ramadan fast breaking feast for the institutions of the orphans and families of the Martyrs (Shahids) and prisoners at the Grand Park Hotel tent in Ramallah...
Dr. Ahmed Majdalani said in a speech that he gave: 'At this event and on this blessed day, and among those who are more precious than all of us, the children of the Martyrs (Shahids) and prisoners, we emphasize before them - on the instructions of [PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas] - that we will always help and assist the members of our people and we will stand by them at all times. The talk taking place here and there about stopping the allowances (mukhassasat) of the prisoners and Martyrs is not true at all.'"
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Abbas' advisor: Salaries to "the families of the prisoners and Martyrs constitute social aid that the PA provides" 
Source: Donia Al-Watan (independent Palestinian news agency), June 22, 2017
Headline: "Shaath: The prisoners and Martyrs' salaries constitute care for innocents who have been caused harm because of Israel"
      "Palestinian [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas' advisor [on Foreign Affairs and International Relations] Nabil Shaath said that the salaries (rawatib) of the families of the prisoners and Martyrs (Shahids) constitute social aid that the PA provides to the families. Shaath added in a speech at the Herzliya Conference for security [of the IDC Herzliya Institute for Policy and Strategy] near Tel Aviv on Thursday [June 21, 2017] that the salaries are a social obligation towards innocents that have been harmed as a result of the imprisonment or killing of their loved ones as a result of the military occupation.
He noted that the Israeli occupation authorities have arrested approximately a million Palestinians since [Israel’s] establishment in 1948, and added: 'One of every three Palestinian men has served a prison sentence in an Israeli prison - can an intelligent person claim that these million people are terrorists?' He added: 'Honestly, to describe all of our political prisoners as terrorists is racist rhetoric.'"

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' advisor on Foreign Affairs and International Relations Nabil Shaath’s entire speech in English on behalf of Abbas can be seen
here.
PLO Prisoner Commissioner: Support for prisoners and Martyrs’ families is a constitutional obligation 
Source: Donia Al-Watan (independent Palestinian news agency), June 21, 2017
Headline: “Karake: Taking care of the families of the prisoners, Martyrs, and injured is part of the Palestinian constitution”

“Director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake said that taking care of the families of the Martyrs (Shahids), prisoners, wounded, and disabled is anchored in clause 22 of the Palestinian basic laws, which have constituted the constitution of the Palestinian state since the establishment of the PA. This is so because according to the basic laws, the law needs to regulate the social and health insurance services and the disability and old age allowances, and to take care of the families of the Martyrs and prisoners as well as the wounded and disabled. This is an obligation regulated by law, and under its framework the PA is obligated to provide them with education services and medical and social insurance.
Karake explained that taking care of the families who were harmed by the occupation is one of the lawful, legal, and administrative components of the Palestinian political system, and based on this the [PA] Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs was established, which afterwards became the [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs.”
PLO official: Commission of Prisoners' Affairs will not be closed 
Source: Al-Quds website, June 20, 2017
Headline: “Karake: There is no decision to dismantle the [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs”
      “Director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake today [June 20, 2017] emphasized that he is continuing to work as usual at the commission and has not been told about any decision to dismantle the commission, as has been announced in the Israeli media outlets. He said that these are rumors that have no basis in truth.”
PLO official: "The issue of the prisoners’ salaries is not up for negotiations" 
Source: Donia Al-Watan (independent Palestinian news agency), June 19, 2017
Headline: “Majdalani: The issue of the prisoners’ salaries is not up for discussion”
    “PLO Executive Committee member [and Secretary-General of the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front] Ahmed Majdalani said that the American administration, through the visit of American Envoy Jason Greenblatt and American President [Donald Trump’s] Advisor on Palestine and Israel Jared Kushner, is striving to try to examine all of the obstacles that have stood in front of peace so as to outline a plan of action… Ahmed Majdalani noted that [Israeli] occupation Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to raise secondary issues and flood the American side with requests and preconditions before entering any political process, and this is in order to prevent the American administration from implementing the decisions of the international bodies. Majdalani emphasized that the issue of the prisoners’ salaries (rawatib) is not up for negotiations, and it is unacceptable to turn it into a precondition for a political process, as it is a political, national, and moral issue.”
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PLO official: Body in charge of prisoners` salaries won't be merged with PA ministry 
Source: Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, June 18, 2017
Headline: "Karake: We were not informed of the closure of the [PLO] Commission of Prisoners' Affairs"
       "Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake denied knowing about the intention of [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas to close the commission and merge it with one of the main branches or offices of the [PA] Ministry of Interior.
Karake said to [the independent Palestinian news] agency Ma'an: 'We were not informed about the intention of President Mahmoud Abbas and the leadership to freeze the activity of the [PLO] Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners' Affairs.'
The [Hamas] Al-Risalah Net website noted that according to Palestinian sources, which it described as 'reliable,' the president is inclined to close the [PLO] Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners' Affairs and merge it with one of the main branches or offices of the [PA] Ministry of Interior in the occupied West Bank."
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PA PM: In Abbas' name, salutes families of "Martyrs" and emphasizes continued support from the PA  
Source: Al-Ayyam, June 17, 2017
Published in Al-Ayyam, June 17, 2017 and in official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 16, 2017   
Headline
: “Hamdallah: The rights of the Martyrs’ families are protected”
   "[PA] Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said: 'On behalf of [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas and our Palestinian people, I salute all of the Martyrs' (Shahids') families, and congratulate them in the [Muslim fasting] month of Ramadan. I emphasize to them that their rights are protected, and we will continue our diligent work with the relevant PLO institutions to fulfill our basic, humanitarian, and national obligations towards them.' (The official PA daily only printed the text above, the following text only appeared in Al-Ayyam -Ed.)
His statements were made two days ago [June 15, 2017] during the central meal to end the fast for the Martyrs' families in Nablus... in the presence of Nablus Mayor Adli Ya'ish and Secretary of the National Association of the Families of the Martyrs of Palestine Muhammad Sbeihat ... Hamdallah added: 'With great pride I again meet with the family members of the Martyrs of Palestine under the auspices of the National Association of the Martyrs' Families of Palestine, the framework that unites the Martyrs' families wherever they are, the main protector of their affairs and rights. Together with you we remember the sacrifices and struggle of the pure Martyrs, guardians of the land and identity who have turned our people's cause into a historical epic of struggle and resolve.'"
PA TV news reports on Erekat, PA PM emphasis for support for PA salaries for terrorist 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, June 16, 2017
Official PA TV newsreader: "Secretary of the PLO Executive Committee[, PLO Chief Negotiator, and Fatah Central Committee member] Saeb Erekat said that the occupation government is attempting to divert the world’s attention from the continuation of the occupation for the last 50 years by harassing our people’s institutions, talking about the salaries (rawatib) of the prisoners and Martyrs (Shahids), and threatening diplomats with expulsion... Erekat added that [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu aspires to increase the unrest that prevails in the region so that he will be able to continue creating an apartheid regime and thwarting the establishment of the Palestinian state..."
Official PA TV newsreader: [PA] Prime Minister Dr. Rami Hamdallah explained that the rights of the Martyrs' families are protected, and the work continues together with the PLO institutions in order to meet this national obligation. He made these statements on behalf of [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas during the central public meal to break the Ramadan fast that was held in honor of the Martyrs' families in Nablus, in the presence of public and official figures."

Click "full article" for a longer excerpt
PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs: Abbas and PA leadership won’t give in to pressure, but will continue terrorist salaries 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 16, 2017
Headline: "Karake: The incitement against the aid to the families of the prisoners and Martyrs is aggression against the Palestinian entity"

"Director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs [Issa Karake] said that the Israeli incitement against the aid that the PA gives to the families of the prisoners and Martyrs (Shahids) is open aggression against the Palestinian entity and its national, humanitarian, and social values and an attempt to undercut the PA and spur a difficult internal situation in Palestinian society…
Karake said: 'The world and the US should intervene to end the occupation that has caused the suffering of thousands of prisoners, the deaths of thousands of Martyrs, and the creation of an inhumane and tragic situation in the Palestinian society.'
Karake emphasized that the concern for the families of the prisoners and Martyrs, the aid to them, and the strengthening of their resolve will not stop, but rather continue. He also emphasized that the Palestinian leadership, [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas, and the Palestinian people will not submit to these pressures, which should have been turned against Israel as an occupying authority that is committing ongoing war crimes against the Palestinian people.
Karake explained: 'We oppose the criminalization of our people's struggles and the negation our prisoners and Martyrs’ national and fighting status and identity. Our people has a legal and lawful right to protect itself, its rights, and its right to self-determination.'"
PA official on terrorist prisoners: They are “freedom fighters”, should be released “unconditionally” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 16, 2017
Headline: "Erekat: The Netanyahu government wants to divert the world's gaze from the continuation of the occupation"

"Yesterday evening [June 15, 2017] the PLO Department for Negotiations held a feast to break the [Ramadan] fast for families of the prisoners in the occupation's prisons in the presence of consuls, ambassadors, and the representatives to Palestine of various states. Present at the meeting were Secretary of the PLO [Executive Committee, PLO Chief Negotiator, and Fatah Central Committee member] Saeb Erekat, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov, Minister (sic., Director) of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake, and Chairman of the [PA-funded] Prisoners’ Club Qadura Fares…
Erekat said: 'The meal to break the fast has become an annual tradition that brings together the families of the prisoners and members of the Arab and foreign diplomatic corps in Palestine.'

He added: 'We are working to end the occupation, to realize the sovereignty of the State of Palestine whose capital is Jerusalem, and to release all of the prisoners unconditionally, as they are fighters for freedom.' …He also noted that the government of [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu wants to divert the world’s gaze from the fact that the occupation has continued for 50 years by persecuting institutions of the Palestinian people and talking about the salaries (rawatib) of the prisoners and Martyrs (Shahids)…

[Click full article for more information]
PLO official: Terrorists are “freedom fighters” who are a “source of honor for the world” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 15, 2017
Headline: "Hashem: The prisoners and Martyrs are a basic national principle and their allowances are a political commitment and ethical obligation"

"Palestinian Liberation Front (i.e., member of the PLO) political bureau member Abu Saleh Hashem condemned the decision of the Israeli Parliament to approve yesterday [June 14, 2017] in a first reading a bill to deduct the financial allowances (mukhassasat) that the PA pays to the prisoners and Martyrs (Shahids) from the tax money that Israel collects for the PA…
Hashem responded to the approval of the bill that was submitted by Israeli Member of Parliament from the Yesh Atid political party Elazar Stern, the coalition, and members of the opposition factions… and also to American Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s statements, according to which senior PA officials agreed to stop paying compensation to the families of those who carried out attacks in Israel.
Hashem said that the Palestinian prisoners and Martyrs are freedom fighters who were arrested and died for the freedom of their people and homeland as part of the necessary and lawful struggle against the occupation of their land. He also warned against the occupation government's attempt to define them as 'terrorists' and to criminalize them and their national struggle, which constitutes a source of honor and appreciation for the world and its free people.

[Click full article for more information]
Official PA daily op-ed on terrorists: “Martyrs were and still are the compass of our struggle” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 15, 2017
Headline: "Just not their salaries"

Excerpt of op-ed by Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul, in his regular column in the official PA daily

"A short while ago, Israel succeeded in causing the UN, Norway, and Denmark to stop supporting a gender (i.e., women’s) center that serves 60 Palestinian women in the village of Bizzariya (sic., Burqa), whose founders named it after Martyr (Shahida) Dalal Mughrabi (i.e., terrorist who led murder of 37, 12 of them children), [- the funding was stopped] on the pretext that she was a 'terrorist.' Unfortunately, these powers responded to Israel’s extortion, despite the UN and the two above-mentioned states knowing the truth. They know that Martyr Dalal was a Palestinian fighter who devoted her life to defending her cause, despite [the fact that she] loved life and wanted to live a free and dignified life like all young people in the different countries of the world.
However, the uprooting and occupying Israeli colonialism destroyed and threatened her life and the lives of her people throughout the entire world, which created the political circumstances that caused the young Palestinians to join the ranks of their national factions to defend the national rights that were stolen by colonialist Israel…

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