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PA salaries to terrorists and their families
PA salaries to terrorists and their families
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, PLO officials: Proposed Israeli legislation cutting amount PA pays to terrorists from Israeli tax money transfers to the PA is “robbery;” Israel supports terror  
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 19, 2018
     “The [PA] national unity government said that the approval, as it were, that was given by the Israeli Ministerial [Committee for Legislation] to a bill on deducting the allowances (mukhassasat) of the Martyrs (Shahids) and prisoners from the Palestinian tax money and transferring them to settlers constitutes robbery and a scandalous theft of money (see note–Ed.)…
Official [PA] Police Spokesperson Yusuf Al-Mahmoud said that the occupation is the one that needs to be brought to account, and it is the one that is required to pay compensation to the members of our people and everyone in the region who has been harmed, because it is the main cause of every crisis and all damage, and it is the source of the dangers and tension… Director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake said that the bill to deduct the prisoners’ allowances constitutes robbery and organized political terror… Karake said that the bill will not contribute to stability and peace in the region, but rather will increase the tension. He added that our occupied people is protected by the UN resolutions and the Geneva Convention, and is not subject to Israel’s racist and hostile laws. Karake revealed that the occupation government is funding the Jewish terrorist prisoners who murdered Palestinians, and supporting them financially, politically, and legally (sic., Israel provides no such benefits). He added that this is a state that encourages terror and creates terror in the region.”

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PA Min. of Information blasts Israeli legislation against PA terror salaries: We won't abandon "Martyrs and prisoners who have sacrificed their lives and their best years in resistance to the occupation” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 19, 2018
Headline: “[PA] Ministry of Information: The occupation government is a gang, our Martyrs and prisoners are the symbols of our freedom”
      “The [PA] Ministry of Information said that the fact that that which is called ‘the Ministerial Committee for Legislation’ in the occupation government approved deducting the allowances (mukhassasat) of the Martyrs (Shahids) and prisoners from the tax revenues and transferring them to settlers (see note below –Ed.) is terror that is being activated by a gang that is not making do with extremism and racism, but rather is also stealing and robbing our money... The ministry said that the prisoners and Martyrs are one of the symbols of our freedom… He emphasized that our people loves life, praises freedom, and fights in order to restore its homeland and its honor, and that it will not abandon its Martyrs and prisoners who have sacrificed their lives and their best years in resistance to the occupation and in search for honor and a life in freedom.”

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PLO official: US pressures on PA include measures against salaries to terrorists  
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 13, 2018
   “The [Palestinian] People’s Party (i.e., a PLO faction) held processions yesterday [Feb. 12, 2018] in the cities of Gaza and Khan Yunis for the 36th anniversary of its establishment. They finished in a rally before the UN headquarters in Gaza, in protest over the American-Israeli policy that targets the Palestinian rights, including the attempt to eliminate UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East)… During the rally, many speeches were made, among them PLO Executive Committee member and Director of the [PLO] Department of Refugee Affairs Zakariya Al-Agha praised the Palestinian resolve before the American pressures and extortion… Al-Agha talked about how the American pressures on the Palestinians have escalated recently, including the closure of the PLO offices in the capital Washington in November 2017, the stopping of the annual aid that the US gives to the PA in order to force it to stop paying financial aid to the families of the Martyrs (Shahids) and prisoners, and the large cut in the participation of the US in the UNRWA budget.”

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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.
PLO official: “We will continue to support and aid the families of the Martyrs, wounded, and prisoners… Israel is the largest terror state in the Middle East… our prisoners are prisoners of freedom”  
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 9, 2018
Headline: “Karake: The law deducting the allowances (mukhassasat) of the prisoners, Martyrs, and wounded is robbery and aggression against our people”
        “Director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake emphasized in a statement that: ‘We will not submit to the Israeli financial extortion and the pressures that it is exerting against our people through racist and unfair laws, the most recent of which was a bill to confiscate the Palestinian tax money due to the support for the families of the Martyrs (Shahids), prisoners, and wounded (a bill to deduct PA salaries to terrorists from tax money collected by Israel for the PA; see note below –Ed.). We will continue to support and aid the families of the Martyrs, wounded, and prisoners, the victims of the Israeli occupation and its ongoing crimes.’
He said that regardless of the amount of the PA’s financial resources, we will not abandon our prisoners, our Martyrs, and our wounded, and the Israeli laws do not obligate us and do not affect the continued social and financial aid to the families of the prisoners, Martyrs, and wounded.
Karake explained that what the occupation government is committing is financial robbery and open theft of the Palestinian people’s money and resources, which opposes international laws and norms..."

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Expert on PA TV: “Fascist” Israel wants to transfer “the salaries of those who carry out operations (i.e., terror attacks)“ to aid “the victims of what he calls ‘terror’” 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Feb. 7, 2018
Official PA TV program Palestine This Morning, review of Israeli press with PA TV Israeli affairs expert Fayez Abbas

PA TV Israeli Affairs Expert Fayez Abbas:
“[Israeli Minister of Defense Avigdor] Liberman’s bill, a bill that only a fascist Israeli mentality could think up: The salaries of those who carry out operations (i.e., terror attacks) – the prisoners, of course – will be transferred to a fund to aid the victims of what he calls ‘terror’ (see note below –Ed.). According to the bill, money in the amount that is paid to the prisoners, wounded, and families of the Martyrs (Shahids) will be deducted from the Palestinian tax income, and will be transferred to Israeli institutions. The amount reaches 1.2 billion shekels per year.”

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 terrorists and their families from the tax money Israel collects for the PA. The bill would enable the deducted money to be used for infrastructure benefitting all West Bank residents, compensation awarded to terror victims in lawsuits against the PA or individual terrorists, and projects aimed at eliminating terror.
Former PA Minister of Prisoners Affairs admits in court that the PA tried to deceive donor countries by paying salaries to terrorists indirectly 
Source: Jerusalem District Court protocol, Feb. 7, 2018
PMW Head of Legal Strategies Maurice Hirsch: “Does the Palestinian Authority pay the salaries to the prisoners from its own money, from its account?”

Former PA Minister of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs Ashraf Al-Ajrami: “Correct.”

Maurice Hirsch: “Yes?”


Maurice Hirsch: “I looked at the 2017 budget of the Palestinian Authority and I didn’t see that; I saw a transfer to the PLO, because that’s what the Palestinian Authority announced in 2014 – that it no longer pays salaries to the prisoners. What is the identity of the body that pays the salaries? The Palestinian Authority from an official account of the Palestinian Authority, or another body?”

Ashraf Al-Ajrami: “Listen, that was until 2017, or 2016 actually. Because there were complaints from bodies, in fact from funders of the Palestinian Authority who did not want their money to go to the families of prisoners and the fallen. Therefore, the [Palestinian] Authority said that we will not pay money from the government’s budget, we will pay from the PLO, and then they brought the [PA] Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs to the Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs under the control of the PLO, and then the money moved from the Palestinian Authority to the PLO – the PLO pays, not the [Palestinian] Authority.”
Former PA Minister of Prisoners admits that fewer than 5 Palestinian prisoners are POWs, in contrast to PA claim that all imprisoned terrorists are internationally recognized POWs  
Source: Jerusalem District Court protocol, Feb. 7, 2018
Excerpt of Jerusalem District Court protocol, civil suit 3367-09, Feb. 7, 2018

PMW Head of Legal Strategies Maurice Hirsch:
“Does the Palestinian Authority view the prisoners, the murderers (sic., the murderer prisoners) as prisoners of war? If they are soldiers and are captured by the other side that’s called a prisoner of war, no?”
Former PA Minister of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs Ashraf Al-Ajrami: “Listen, that’s a definition from Geneva Convention Number 3. It defines what a prisoner of war is, or what that is- also Geneva Convention Number 4 from 1949. In the Palestinian Authority they say that the Palestinian prisoners are prisoners of war, but I was [the PA] minister [of prisoners’ affairs] and I know – I was also a prisoner myself – I know the difference between Convention Number 3 and Convention Number 4. Number 3 says that if you capture someone who has a uniform-”
Maurice Hirsch: “Just to clarify, that’s article 3 (sic., article 4 of the Third Geneva Convention, which defines prisoners of war).”
Jerusalem District Court Vice President Judge Moshe Drori: “The Third Convention is the Prisoners of War Convention, the Fourth Convention is during wartime. Sir, you are not saying something correct.”
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Proof PA Min. of Finance is responsible for terrorist salaries and not the PLO: Martyrs’ families turn to Abbas, Hamdallah and ministry 
Source: Donia Al-Watan (independent Palestinian news agency), Jan. 31, 2018
Headline: “Al-Nahal: What the Martyrs' families are receiving is only medical aid and university education”
     “Director of the Institution for Aid to the Families of the Martyrs (Shahids) and Wounded in the Gaza Strip (i.e., connected to the PLO Families of the Martyrs and Wounded Institution) Muhammad Al-Nahal said that what the families of the Martyrs and wounded of the 2014 war against the Gaza Strip are receiving is medical aid and university education, together with additional aid…
He said: ‘We hope that a budget will be allocated so that we will be able to pay these families what they are entitled to,’ and called on [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian [PA] Prime Minister Dr. Rami Hamdallah, and Palestinian Minister of Finance Shukri Bishara to resolve this matter once and for all…
The families of the Martyrs demanded that their salaries (rawatib) and the money that they are entitled to be paid to them, in light of their difficult financial situation… They also emphasized that it is necessary to allocate an annual budget for the payment of their salaries in a monthly and organized manner.”
48 Palestinian prisoners have served over 20 years in Israeli prison 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 14, 2018
Headline: “48 prisoners have served over 20 years of imprisonment”
        “Head of the Research and Documentation Department of the [PLO] Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs Abd Al-Nasser Farwaneh gave an update that the list of ‘the veterans of the prisoners’ has risen to 48 Palestinian prisoners.
In a press statement yesterday [Jan. 13, 2018], Farwaneh said: ‘Among these prisoners there are 29 prisoners called “the veteran prisoners,” because they are the most veteran prisoners in the [Israeli] prisons and were arrested before the Oslo Accords [in 1993]… Among these there are 25 prisoners who have served over a quarter century, and they are called “the generals of patience.” Among them, there are 11 prisoners who have served over 30 years in the occupation’s prisons, and they are called “the iconic prisoners,” the most veteran of whom are Karim and Maher Younes (i.e., terrorists, murdered 1) who have been imprisoned for 36 years.’ … Farwaneh also noted that there are dozens of additional prisoners in the prisons who have served 20 and 25 years, and even more than 30 years inconsecutively, and they are the prisoners who were released in the ‘loyalty of the free people’ (Shalit) [parentheses in source] prisoner exchange deal in 2011 and were rearrested (see note below –Ed.).”

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Abbas vows the PA won't stop paying terrorist salaries 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Jan. 14, 2018

Official PA TV, excerpt of a speech given by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Jan. 14, 2018, at the PLO Central Council in Ramallah


PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: "There is something that the Americans are telling us to stop - the salaries of the Martyrs and the Martyrs' families. Of course we categorically reject this. We will not under any circumstances allow anyone to harm the families of the prisoners, the wounded, and the Martyrs. They are our children and they are our families. They honor us, and we will continue to pay them before the living."
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Abbas made this statement in response to the American demand that the PA stop paying salaries to imprisoned terrorists and the families of terrorists.
PLO official falsely accuses Israel of paying salaries to Jewish terrorists, as opposed to the PA that pays salaries to imprisoned Palestinian terrorists, who are "freedom prisoners and legitimate fighters"  
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 13, 2018
Headline: "Karake: What Israel pays to criminals and criminal prisoners exceeds what is paid to the occupation's victims"
    “Director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake said that the Israeli occupation government allots a large budget to aiding criminal prisoners that committed crimes of murder and assault against the Palestinian people and to their families, and to fund Jewish terror societies and organizations and organizations of extremist settlers, and officially supports terror and even creates it… Karake rejected the comparison between the Palestinian prisoners - who are freedom prisoners and legitimate fighters who struggled for the right of self-determination, according to that which is anchored in UN resolutions and international law – and the Jewish terrorist prisoners. He said that the occupation government has related to the Jewish terrorist prisoners, who were convicted in Israeli courts of acts of terror and aggression against Palestinians, with full forgiveness. Moreover, it has supported them, encouraged them, given them full financial, legal, and social aid, related to them as national heroes and symbols, and published decisions to ease their sentences and pardon them..."

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PA Ministry of Information: Taylor Force Act is “political blackmail and robbery”  
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 12, 2018
“The [PA] Ministry of Information… emphasized that the discussions in the American circles regarding what is called the ‘Taylor Force’ Act to deduct our prisoners’ allowances (mukhassasat) from our tax money (sic., the Taylor Force Act calls to cut US aid to the PA until it stops paying terrorist salaries) constitutes political blackmail and robbery, which mixes with the lack of objectivity of American Comptroller General [Eugene] Louis Dodaro who is working against our schoolbooks and accusing us of incitement (sic., the result of Dodaro’s investigation has not yet been published; see note below).”

At the request of Senator James Risch, US Comptroller General Gene Dodaro launched an American investigation in January 2017 of UNRWA schoolbooks in the West Bank and Gaza Strip looking for terror incitement and Antisemitism. The results of the probe are expected in February or March 2018.
Fatah official relays that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas “will continue to pay the salaries of the Martyrs` families, even if [just] $100 remains in the PA`s coffers” 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Jan. 9, 2018
Official PA TV program Palestine This Morning, on Palestinian Martyrs' Day, hosting Secretary-General of The National Association of the Families of the Martyrs of Palestine Muhammad Sbeihat

Official PA TV host: "In everything regarding the latest developments, in other words, the political interference regarding the Martyrs' (Shahids') issue, pressure has been applied to the [PA] leadership, the latest being essentially the allowances of the Martyrs' families. Israel incited in this direction and the US also demanded and pressed in this direction to stop the allowances, claiming that those who carried out these operations (i.e., terror attacks) are terrorists – according to it [the US], of course - denying the Palestinian struggle. In this framework, how can this issue be highlighted on this day, especially the firm Palestinian stand regarding this?"

Secretary-General of The National Association of the Families of the Martyrs of Palestine Muhammad Sbeihat: "We actually met a number of weeks ago with [Fatah] Movement Deputy Chairman [and Fatah Central Committee member] brother Mahmoud Al-Aloul and discussed this topic with him. He explained to us that the position of [PA] President [Mahmoud] Abbas on this issue is stable, and [that Abbas] said during one of his meetings with an official American party who demanded that he stop paying the salaries of the Martyrs' (Shahids') families – that His Honor the President said to him that he will continue to pay the salaries of the Martyrs' families, even if [just] $100 remains in the PA's coffers."
PLO official defends the PA practice of paying salaries to terrorists, calling threats to deduct tax money in the amount of the salaries paid an act of “robbery and theft” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 9, 2018
“PLO Executive Committee member [and Secretary-General of the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front] Ahmed Majdalani… explained to the official [PA] radio [station] The Voice of Palestine yesterday [Jan. 8, 2018], …in response to the Israeli threats to deduct part of the tax money on the grounds that it is paid as salaries (rawatib) to the families of the Martyrs (Shahids) and prisoners, that this matter is unacceptable and contradicts the agreements that were signed and that will now be reexamined. He said that these threats are a new act of robbery and theft of the Palestinian people’s money. He also emphasized that the PA and the leadership have full freedom to do as they please with this tax money and to give it to whomever they please.”
6,500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons at the end of 2017 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 8, 2018
Headline: “The [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs summarized 2017”
       “The [PLO] Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs published its annual report, which documents the occupation state’s arrests and violations, and its crimes against the male and female prisoners held in its prisons in 2017…
At the end of 2017 the number of prisoners reached 6,500 prisoners in the Israeli prisons, which are divided among approximately 22 prisons and detention centers… [The prisoners include] approximately 350 children, including nine minors; 58 young women and women; 22 journalists; [and] 450 administrative detainees… The great majority of the prisoners are from the West Bank, who constitute approximately 84.8%; approximately 10% are from Jerusalem, and 5.2% are from the Gaza Strip.
The veterans: 46 prisoners who have spent over 20 consecutive years since their arrest, including 23 prisoners who have served more than 25 years, 10 of whom have served over 30 years. The most veteran among them are prisoners Karim and Maher Younes (i.e., terrorist cousins who murdered an Israeli together), who have been imprisoned for the past 35 years. Among the 46 veteran prisoners, 29 have been imprisoned since before the Oslo Accords, and were supposed to be released as part of the fourth batch in March 2014 (see note below –Ed.).”

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Abbas’ Advisor justifies salaries to terrorists’ families on official PA TV after US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Dec. 9, 2017
Official PA TV, special broadcast on US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and transfer the US embassy to Jerusalem, hosting PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' advisor on Foreign Affairs and International Relations Nabil Shaath

Official PA TV host: “Dr. Nabil [Shaath], you have monitored the [Arab] efforts up to the moment the A rab foreign ministers’ convention was held. [What is] the significance of this meeting from your perspective in light of the American position that is biased towards the occupation state and violates the international laws and legitimacy?”


PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' advisor on Foreign Affairs and International Relations Nabil Shaath: “[US President Donald] Trump attempted to press us by closing the Palestinian [PLO] embassy in Washington (see note below –Ed.). He attempted to press us by cutting $300 million from the budget allocated to Palestine on the claim that it equals what the Palestinians pay to the families of the Martyrs (Shahids) and families of the prisoners, as if it is a crime to pay the victims of the Israeli hostile acts and Israeli crimes [an amount] that is at least enough for the needs of their families. All of these measures [are intended] to pressure us. Will our [Arab] nation stand up and cancel this [US] pressure by actually presenting the material aid in place of [the money] the US has cut and is cutting from the money intended for us?”
Fatah Central Committee member says salaries and payments to terrorists and their families “cannot be neglected under any pressure” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 8, 2017
     “Fatah Movement Central Committee member, [Fatah Commissioner of National Relations (i.e., between Hamas and Fatah), and Fatah Commissioner for Relations with Lebanon] Azzam Al-Ahmad said that American President Donald Trump’s decision regarding Jerusalem is a type of kindling of a religious conflict and encouraging of terror and violence
Al-Ahmad referred to the fact that this American step comes at the same time as the decision published by Congress regarding reducing the amount of American aid to the PA (i.e., referring to the Taylor Force Act; see note below), in an attempt to apply pressure to stop the aid to the families of the courageous Martyrs (Shahids) and prisoners, and said: ‘The Martyrs and prisoners are equal in value to the sanctity of the Palestinian land, and taking care of and aiding them cannot be neglected under any pressure.”
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840 Palestinian prisoners are registered for academic studies at the Al-Quds Open University 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 4, 2017
Headline: “840 prisoners are registered at Al-Quds Open University – Karake and Shahin give the diploma to the family of prisoner Muhammad Zawahreh”
         “The family of prisoner Muhammad Zawahreh (see note below), who has been serving a life sentence since 2002… received the BA diploma in computer sciences that he successfully achieved during his studies within the prison. This was in the framework of the education program for prisoners, which Al-Quds Open University is supervising in coordination with the [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs. The diploma was given to the family of prisoner Zawahreh by Head of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake… Karake thanked [Al-Quds Open University President] Dr. Younes Amr and the Al-Quds Open University staff for the support they are giving to the prisoners so that they will complete their academic studies… He said that the academic diploma is a certificate of freedom on the path to liberation from the occupation’s prison, and that there are 840 prisoners in prison who are registered for studies at the Al-Quds Open University.”
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Muhammad Zawahreh – Palestinian serving a life sentence since 2002. PMW has been unable to confirm more details.
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