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Abbas gives gifts to murderer of 3 and to mother of murderer of five, despite PA financial crisis
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Despite PA financial crisis,
Abbas gives gifts to murderer of 3
and to mother of murderer of five

By Maurice Hirsch, Adv. and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

In the midst of the self-imposed financial crisis, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has found a spare 40,000 shekels ($11,239/€10,005) to provide a prosthesis for triple murderer Muhammad Brash, who shot and killed 3 Israelis.

Announcing Abbas' decision, the PLO Commission of Prisoners' Affairs added that it shows the "priorities" of the Palestinian leadership:

"The [PLO] Commission of Prisoners' Affairs announced... that the Honorable [PA] President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas ordered to cover the full cost of preparing a prosthesis for sick prisoner Muhammad Brash... at the expense of the [PA] Presidential Office.
The commission said that this step emphasizes that the prisoners' cause is the Palestinian leadership's top priority, and that the efforts will continue until the release of all of the prisoners from the occupation's prisons."
[Donia Al-Watan, independent Palestinian news agency, April 30, 2019]

In a similar gesture, Abbas decided to provide a special "presidential grant" to fund the cost of an electric wheelchair for the mother of terrorist Mahmoud Abu Kharabish who murdered five people, including a mother and her three children, when he threw a Molotov cocktail at a civilian bus.

"[District] Governor of Jericho and the Jordan Valley Jihad Abu Al-Asal and the head of humanitarian aid in the [PA] Presidential Office Raeda Al-Fares awarded a presidential grant in the form of an electric wheel chair to the mother of prisoner Mahmoud Abu Kharabish."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 10, 2019]

While these can be viewed as humanitarian gestures, it is clear that Abbas is not buying expensive prostheses or electric wheelchairs for every needy Palestinian. In fact this is the first time Palestinian Media Watch has seen these kinds of announcements by the PA. Also significant is that both of the PA announcements stressed that these were not ordinary Palestinian recipients who had been chosen for these special grants but it was specifically because one recipient was a "prisoner," who had murdered three Israelis and the second recipient is the "mother of a prisoner" i.e., the mother of a terrorist murderer.

The financial crisis the PA is facing is a direct result of its longstanding practice to incentivize and
reward Palestinian terrorism - also known as the PA's "Pay for Slay" policy.

In 2018, Israel adopted its Anti "Pay for Slay" law. The law provided that the expenditure of the PA on salaries to terrorists in any given year would be deducted from the taxes Israel collects and transfers to the PA in the following year. In the aftermath of the brutal rape and murder of Israeli Ori Ansbacher by a Palestinian terrorist, the Israeli government implemented the law and decided to deduct the sum of
502 million shekels - the sum the PA openly admitted to be spending on salaries to terrorist prisoners and released terrorist prisoners - from the tax revenues. The deduction, according to the law, is made in 12 monthly parts.

In response, the PA decided that if Israel deducts any sum from the tax revenues, it will reject all of the tax money. Putting this decision into perspective, and based on the 2018 statistics, it means that the PA is rejecting over 8 billion shekels (2.25 billion dollars/2 billion euros) annually, just to continue its "Pay for Slay" policy. In doing so, the PA
intentionally plunged itself into financial crisis.

In the context of an international donor event organized by the EU, PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh explained why the PA pays monthly salaries to terrorist prisoners, completely ignoring their murderous actions:

"Our prisoners are in the prisons for the homeland's freedom. Our prisoners are in the prisons because they are cases of fighting, and not cases of terror as Israel claims. In general, we - as [PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas] has said more than once: 'If we are down to the last penny, it will be designated for the prisoners and the families of the Martyrs, who have sacrificed their blood for Palestine.'"
[Official PA TV, Topic of the Day, April 30, 2019]

In a more honest confession, the PA admitted that it pays the salaries of the terrorists because it sees them as its "soldiers" who were "sent" by it to carry out the acts of terrorism. 

While the EU, at that same donor conference, touted the rhetoric that it does "not support the system of Palestinian payments to 'prisoners and martyrs," shortly after the conference the EU nevertheless showed its willingness to facilitate the continuation of these salaries,
announcing that it would provide 15 million to the PA to help it pay salaries to public employees - thereby freeing up money for terrorist rewards

Interestingly, PA Prime Minister Shtayyeh is now trying to enlist the assistance of the World Bank "to have a greater role in monitoring Israel's deductions from the tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinian government." In a meeting with a representative of the bank, Shtayyeh said:

"Israel wants to destroy and exhaust the Palestinian economy, through the deduction of the tax money... (the original Arabic version also included the following words: "... manipulations of and stealing from the amounts of money going to the PA" -Ed.) and by trying to pull the banking institutions operating in Palestine into a legal war leading to their liquidation and closure."
[WAFA (English edition), official PA news agency, May 9, 2019]

The World Bank is already familiar with the PA's "Pay for Slay" program. Already in 2007, the bank called the salary payments to the terrorist prisoners and released prisoners "the most generous PA program". It added that the funds devoted to the PA's payments to the families of dead terrorists - the so-called "Martyrs" - do "not seem justified from a welfare or fiscal perspective." The bank concluded:

"Together with the Fund for Martyrs and the Injured, the programs for detainees and ex-detainees are clearly areas for considering future rationalization and streamlining of services. These two programs alone absorbed more than 1 percent of GDP in 2004, and may have accounted for as much as 1.3 percent in 2005. Yet collectively they provide benefits to fewer than 20,000 families. Certainly from efficiency and fiscal considerations, if not equity considerations, some of these resources could be better targeted." 
[World Bank report No. 38207 West Bank and Gaza Public Expenditure Review: From Crisis to Greater Fiscal Independence, Volume 2, p. 169 - 170]

Since the publication of the 2007 report, the PA expenditure on its "Pay for Slay" policy has only gone up. The salaries of the terrorist prisoners and released terrorist prisoners were hiked by PA Chairman Abbas in 2010, while the payments to the families of the dead terrorists were raised 3 times.

The following are longer excerpts of the reports mentioned above:

Headline: "The [PLO] Commission of Prisoners' Affairs: The [PA] president orders to prepare a prosthesis for prisoner Brash at the expense of the Presidential Office"
"The [PLO] Commission of Prisoners' Affairs announced today, Tuesday [April 30, 2019], that the Honorable [PA] President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas ordered to cover the full cost of preparing a prosthesis for sick prisoner Muhammad Brash (i.e., terrorist, murdered 3) from the Al-Amari refugee camp, at the expense of the [PA] Presidential Office.
The commission said that this step emphasizes that the prisoners' cause is the Palestinian leadership's top priority, and that the efforts will continue until the release of all of the prisoners from the occupation's prisons.
The authority has warned in the past about the deterioration in the state of health of sick and handicapped prisoner Muhammad Khamis Brash... who was sentenced to life (sic., 3 life sentences).
The authority explained that Brash... lost his hearing and sight in prison, and that his left leg was amputated after he was wounded by shrapnel at the time of his arrest in 2003. It added that he urgently needs... the preparation of a prosthesis that will fit his leg that is amputated from the knee, at a cost that amounts to 40,000 [Israeli] shekels."
[Donia Al-Watan, independent Palestinian news agency, April 30, 2019]

Muhammad Khamis Brash - Palestinian terrorist who shot and murdered Israeli soldiers Elad Wallenstein and Amit Zaneh and Israeli civilian Sarah Lisha on Nov. 13, 2000, at Wadi Al-Haramiya in the West Bank. Brash is serving 3 life sentences.

Headline: "Presidential grant to the mother of the most veteran of the Jericho prisoners Mahmoud Abu Kharabish"
"[District] Governor of Jericho and the Jordan Valley Jihad Abu Al-Asal and the head of humanitarian aid in the [PA] Presidential Office Raeda Al-Fares awarded a presidential grant in the form of an electric wheel chair to the mother of prisoner Mahmoud Abu Kharabish (i.e., terrorist, murdered 5 together with accomplices).
Abu Al-Asal and Al-Fares conveyed [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas' blessings and wishes for good health to the prisoner's mother. They also emphasized his concern [for the prisoners and] that he follows the prisoners' issues and affairs daily. [They emphasized] the leadership's determination and activity in all ways to get the prisoners of freedom out from the occupation's prisons, and also that the prisoners, wounded, and Martyrs are considered a red line in everything regarding living with dignity, care, and concern.
It should be noted that prisoner Abu Kharabish is the most veteran of the Jericho and Jordan Valley District prisoners; he has been imprisoned since the end of the 1980s, and is serving life in prison."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 10, 2019]

Jum'a Adam, Ahmad Takrouri, and Mahmoud Abu Kharabish - Palestinian terrorists who threw a Molotov cocktail at an Israeli bus in Jericho in 1988, murdering a mother and her 3 children, as well as an Israeli soldier who tried to rescue them. All 3 terrorists were sentenced to life sentences. Takrouri was released in the Shalit prisoner exchange deal in 2011. Adam and Kharabish were scheduled to be released in 2014 in an Israeli gesture as part of peace talks, but the release was cancelled.

Official PA TV program Topic of the Day, on a meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee - an international donor group for the Palestinians - in Brussels on April 30, 2019; hosting PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh

PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh: "We unequivocally want all of our money in full. We will not agree to be subjected to extortion, because if we agree to deductions (referring to the Israeli Anti "Pay-for-Slay" Law to deduct terror salaries; see note below -Ed.), it will have ominous political consequences, and it will have legal implications for us as an authority, and on the banking sector, and on the beneficiaries and such. Therefore, we are unable to denounce our prisoners in any way. Our prisoners are in the prisons for the homeland's freedom. Our prisoners are in the prisons because they are cases of fighting, and not cases of terror as Israel claims. In general, we - as [PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas] has said more than once: 'If we are down to the last penny, it will be designated for the prisoners and the families of the Martyrs (Shahids), who have sacrificed their blood for Palestine.' This was in the framework of the agreement. When the [Palestinian] Authority pays the families of the prisoners and the Martyrs, it is actually within the framework of the agreement, and not in violation of the agreement. Of course there is incitement. I must say there is great incitement from the Israeli side in the European parliaments, and there is great incitement in the European states, claiming that by doing this the PA is funding the prisoners' families and the Martyrs' families, as if it is funding terror. We have responded to these things clearly today, and have said that we will continue in our commitment towards our prisoners and towards our Martyrs, and we cannot be extorted on this cause."
[Official PA TV, Topic of the Day, April 30, 2019]

Israel's Anti "Pay-for-Slay" Law - Israeli law stating that the PA payments to terrorists and the families of dead terrorists is a financial incentive to terror. The law instructs the state to deduct and freeze the amount of money the PA pays in salaries to imprisoned terrorists and families of "Martyrs" from the tax money Israel collects for the PA. Should the PA stop these payments for a full year, the Israeli government would have the option of giving all or part of the frozen money to the PA.
The law was enacted by the Israeli Parliament on July 2, 2018, and its first implementation was approved by Israel's Security Cabinet on Feb. 17, 2019, when it decided to withhold 502,697,000 Israeli shekels (approximately $138 million) from the PA. In response, the PA announced it would not accept any of the tax money collected by Israel unless it also included the frozen amount.
During the initial parliamentary vote in 2018, the law's sponsor Avi Dichter said: "The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee received much help in its deliberations... from Palestinian Media Watch who provided us with authentic data that enabled productive and professional deliberations, nuances that are very difficult to achieve without precise data." [Israeli Parliament website, July 2, 2018]

Headline: "Premier calls on World Bank to have a say in Israel's withholding of Palestinian tax revenue"
"Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called today upon the World Bank to have a greater role in monitoring Israel's deductions from the tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinian government.
During a meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Ramallah with the World Bank Country Director for West Bank and Gaza Kanthan Shankar, Shtayyeh also called on the World Bank to align its projects with the Palestinian priorities, thus contributing to boosting national economy, job creation and reducing unemployment.
"Israel wants to destroy and exhaust the Palestinian economy, through the deduction of the tax money... (the original Arabic version also included the following words: "... manipulations of and stealing from the amounts of money going to the PA" -Ed.) and by trying to pull the banking institutions operating in Palestine into a legal war leading to their liquidation and closure," Shtayyeh told the World Bank country director.
On the other side, Shankar confirmed that the World Bank and all the institutions working under its umbrella in Palestine are ready to enhance coordination with the Palestinian government so that the projects implemented can meet the latter's priorities."
[WAFA (English edition), official PA news agency, May 9, 2019]
 


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