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:‎

PLO Chief Negotiator: Israeli decision to cut tax monies is “part of the Israeli-American plan to destroy the PA… Those carrying out normalization with Israel are sticking a knife in the back of the [Palestinian] people” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 18, 2019
        “PLO Executive Committee Secretary Saeb Erekat said yesterday [Feb. 17, 2019]: ‘The deduction of the salaries of the prisoners and Martyrs’ (Shahids’) families from the tax money (refers to Israeli law deducting terrorist salaries from PA tax money; see note below –Ed.), which Israel intends to carry out, is part of the Israeli-American plan to destroy the PA, in parallel with disconnecting the Gaza Strip from the West Bank. This plan is the “deal of the century” (refers to US President Donald Trump’s as yet unpublished Middle East peace plan –Ed.).’
In statements that he gave to [the official PA] radio [station] The Voice of Palestine, he added that Israel will carry out this step after it has denied all of the signed agreements… Erekat turned to the Arabs and said: ‘Those who are going to Warsaw – what are they going for? You spoke about the Arab Peace Initiative. What has changed that you are rewarding [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu?’ He emphasized that those carrying out normalization with Israel are sticking a knife in the back of the [Palestinian] people.”

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PLO official accuses Israel of attempting to destroy the PA following withholding of equivalent of terror salaries from PA tax money 
Source: WAFA, official PA news agency, Feb. 17, 2019
The following was posted on WAFA's website in English

Headline: Israel, US attempting to destroy Palestinian Authority, says PLO official"
    "Ahmad Majdalani, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said on Sunday that Israel is now attempting to destroy the Palestinian Authority through more financial sanctions in partnership with the United States administration. In a press statement, Majdalani said these attempts 'are done through more sanctions and procedures in violation of international law and the resolutions of international legitimacy, by imposing a financial blockade [of the PA].' '[Israel] believes this will compel the Palestinian leadership to comply with the so-called economic peace plan at the expense of political and legal rights [of the Palestinian people] … The Palestinian people may not be compromised by political money,' he continued. Majdalani condemned plans by the Israeli government to deduct from the tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, equal to the amounts of the salaries the PA pays to the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and the families of those killed by the Israeli occupation forces."

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PA Presidential Spokesman accuses Israel of "piracy" for cutting terror salaries equivalent from tax monies transfered to the PA 
Source: WAFA, official PA news agency, Feb. 17, 2019
The following text was posted on WAFA's website in English:

Headline: "Presidency: Israel's decision to deduct from PA tax revenues a piracy"
      "Any deduction from the Palestinian clearing funds is totally rejected and is considered a piracy of the Palestinian people's money, President Mahmoud Abbas' spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, said in a statement. The Israeli government decided on Sunday to deduct over $130 million from the tax funds it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority on goods destined to the Palestinian areas for what it claims is the amount of money the PA pays families of Palestinians held or killed by Israel for resisting its occupation. 'The firm position of the President in which he affirmed that we will not accept any harm to the livelihood of our imprisoned heroes and the families of martyrs and wounded,' said Abu Rudeineh. 'We consider this arbitrary Israeli decision to be a one-sided blow to the signed agreements, including the Paris Protocols,' he said. Abu Rudeineh pointed out that this decision will have serious repercussions at all levels and will be given a priority at the meeting of the leadership led by the President during the coming days."

Fatah: Deducting terror salaries from Israeli tax transfers to PA is “theft”; “This will not prevent us from continuing to take care of the families of the prisoners and Martyrs at any price” 
Source: Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, Feb. 17, 2019
Headline: "Fatah: The deduction of our money by Israel is theft and robbery; the pressure will lead to an explosion"
        "The Fatah Movement said that the deduction of the money for the salaries of the families of the Martyrs (Shahids) and the prisoners by Israel (referring to Israeli law to deduct terror salaries from PA tax money; see note below –Ed.) constitutes theft, robbery, a ruse, and a policy of thuggery… Fatah added: 'This step is absolutely offensive and unacceptable. This will not prevent us from continuing to take care of the families of the prisoners and Martyrs at any price. This step will be met with a clear official and popular Palestinian position.'
[Fatah] Revolutionary Council member and [Official] Fatah Spokesperson Osama Al-Qawasmi said: 'If Israel and the US think that the rounds of political and economic pressures that are coming one after the other will weigh on the Palestinian leadership and on our magnificent people… and that they will succeed in changing the political position regarding the rights of the Palestinian people – and primarily Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Palestine – we ask to emphasize at this opportunity, on behalf of Fatah, that this is a complete delusion.’"

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PLO Prisoners’ Affairs director claims Israel wants to "criminalize the Palestinian people’s struggle... to present them as terrorists and to prevent their families from [receiving] salaries that will support them" 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 12, 2019
Headline: “The Hebrew media is falsifying the facts in order to criminalize the Palestinian struggle”
     “Once again, in a scenario that repeats itself, the occupation government is trying to extort the Palestinians through the use of the returns from the tax money, which to them constitute a large part of the public income…
Director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs Qadri Abu Bakr emphasized in a press statement that the commission will not concede to the [Israeli] law, and said: ‘As the Palestinian leadership has emphasized, the salaries (rawatib) will not be harmed.’ He added: ‘They want to criminalize the Palestinian people’s struggle before the world, to present them as terrorists and to prevent their families from [receiving] salaries that will support them, while the Israeli criminals receive three salaries (sic., Israeli criminals receive no money).”

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Fatah council: “The prisoners, Martyrs, and wounded have sacrificed that which is most precious to them for the homeland, and Fatah will remain loyal to their sacrifice” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 10, 2019
Excerpt of a statement summarizing a session of the Fatah Revolutionary Council.

       “The prisoners, Martyrs (Shahids), and wounded have sacrificed that which is most precious to them for the homeland, and Fatah will remain loyal to their sacrifice. It will continue to fulfill its duty and obligations to them and to their families, despite the blackmail, pressures, and theft (refers to Israeli law to deduct terrorist salaries from the tax money Israel collects for the PA; see note below –Ed.), as severe as they may be. As [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas has emphasized more than once, this is a red line. The council condemns the occupation’s targeting of the prisoners, its break-ins [to the prisoners’ wings], and its recurring attacks against the brave prisoners. It condemns the occupying power’s policy of medical neglect in the strongest language, and prays for the 214 Martyr prisoners since 1967, the last of whom was Martyr Fares Baroud (i.e., terrorist, murdered 1). The council salutes all of the prisoners...”

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Abbas: “The Martyrs… are sacred, [so are] the wounded and the prisoners. We must pay all of them” – broadcast 17 times in four weeks 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Dec. 17, 2018

Official PA TV filler, excerpt of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Oct. 28, 2018 speech about terrorist salaries


PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: "I say this to everyone – the salaries of our Martyrs, prisoners, and wounded are a red line. They [Israel] try by all means, and exert pressure by all means, and they continue to exert: ‘It cannot be that you will pay.’ And they’ll even deduct our money that’s in their hands. They’ll deduct from it the amount that we pay to the Martyrs. We have said that this is a red line and we will not allow [it]. From 1965 until now, this matter is sacred to us. The Martyrs and their families are sacred, [and so are] the wounded and the prisoners. We must pay all of them. If one penny remains in our hands it is for them and not for the living."

This video aired on official PA TV on Nov. 16, 17, 19, 21, 24, 27, 28, 30, 2018 and on Dec. 2, 3, 5, and 17, 2018, for a total of 17 times over four weeks. Some of the broadcasts occured twice a day.

Fatah official: Caring for terrorist prisoners is a “sacred obligation,” whose salaries will be harmed “under no circumstances” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 4, 2018
     “Fatah Movement Central Committee Secretary Jibril Rajoub emphasized in a press statement yesterday [Dec. 3, 2018] that Fatah and its leadership, led by [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas, views the prisoners’ cause, their release, and the care for them and their families as a national responsibility and a sacred obligation that is not subject to debate and must not be neglected… Rajoub added that the magnificent prisoners’ movement will remain – as it always has been – the spearhead of the Palestinian national struggle. He said that our brave prisoners and our released prisoners will continue to be stars of whom we are proud [along with] their families, and we appreciate the great sacrifices that they have made for Palestine… He emphasized… that under no circumstances and under no conditions will their salaries (rawatib) be harmed.”

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Fatah official: salaries to terrorists and their families a “national responsibility and sacred obligation,” there will be “no harm… to the salaries”  
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Dec. 4, 2018
Official PA TV News, on Fatah Central Committee Secretary Jibril Rajoub emphasizing Fatah’s commitment to paying terrorist prisoners’ salaries

Official PA TV newsreader: “Fatah Movement Central Committee Secretary Jibril Rajoub emphasized that Fatah and the leadership headed by [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas consider the prisoners’ cause, their release, and taking care of their families a national responsibility and sacred obligation that is indisputable and cannot be neglected. Rajoub added that Fatah’s position on this matter is solid, and that there [will be] no harm under any conditions and circumstances to the salaries (rawatib) and payments (istihqaqat) to the prisoners and released prisoners.”

Jibril Rajoub also holds the following positions: Head of the PLO Supreme Council for Sport and Youth Affairs, Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association, Chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee, and Chairman of the Palestinian Scout Association (PSA).

PA Justice Minister in presence of Sudanese dictator: Israel is carrying out "torture, deprivation, and medical neglect" against Palestinian prisoners; trying to prevent the PA from paying prisoners and Martyrs’ families 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 24, 2018
    "The Council of Arab Ministers of Justice concluded its 34th session yesterday [Nov. 23, 2018], which was held in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, in the presence of His Honor Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir (see note below –Ed.)… [PA] Minister of Justice Ali Abu Diyak participated in the 34th session of the Council of Arab Ministers of Justice, in the presence of Ambassador of the State of Palestine in Sudan Dr. Samir Oudeh… Abu Diyak said that the series of racist legislations against our brave prisoners is continuing, as the occupation is exaggerating in the methods of torture, deprivation, and medical neglect of the prisoners, and has turned to using its racist means of legislation in an attempt to break the willpower of our people and its prisoners that are resolute behind the walls of the Israeli prisons. He noted that the Israeli occupation has published a law to put children under 14 on trial (refers to law to detain terrorists under age 14 until they are old enough to be imprisoned –Ed.) and a law to steal the Palestinian tax money in a desperate attempt to blackmail us and prevent us from paying the allowances (mukhassasat) of the families of the Martyrs (Shahids) and the prisoners."

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Official PA daily quotes Israeli Justice Minister as admitting Israel has failed to stop the transfer of tax money to the PA in accordance with the law passed deducting in the amount the PA pays terrorists 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 24, 2018
Headline: "Shaked: We have not succeeded in stopping the transfer of the Palestinian prisoners' allowances"

"Israeli Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked from the Jewish Home party emphasized that the present government will not be able to complete its full term until November of next year [2019], and recognized this government’s failure to prevent the transfer of the allowances (mukhassasat) of the prisoners and the families of the Palestinian Martyrs (Shahids) (refers to a new law to deduct terrorist salaries from PA tax money; see note below –Ed.)…
Shaked said [this] during an interview that was published yesterday [Nov. 23, 2018] in the Hebrew newspaper Yediot Aharonot."

Law to deduct terrorist salaries from PA tax money - 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 on July 2, 2018.
During the parliamentary vote, 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]


PLO director of prisoners assures terrorist salaries will continue 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Nov. 5, 2018

Official PA TV program "Topic of the Day"

Official PA TV host: “The Israeli Parliament’s decision will come into effect regarding deducting the salaries of the prisoners and Martyrs from the taxes. How are you responding to this matter, and what are your steps
against it?” …
Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Qadri Abu Bakr: “The prisoners, the released [prisoners], and their families can rest assured - as [PA] President [Abbas] has said: Even if we have only a penny left it will be spent on them. They are like all of the [public] employees. In other words, they will not be affected. What will be affected of course is the PA’s budget, because the salaries are approximately 1 billion [Israeli] shekels a year that we pay.”
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Terrorist prisoners are “most precious thing” and “out of the question” to renounce them and stop salaries, says PLO official 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Nov. 2, 2018
Official PA TV program PLO Present and Future

Official PA TV host: "[PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas] emphasized from the podium of the UN the subject of the families of the Martyrs (Shahids), the prisoners, and the wounded [and said] that the PA and PLO will not give up [on them]. The department- There is the [PLO] Families of the Martyrs [and Wounded] Institution, and you mentioned earlier that there will be a connection between you as the ministry (sic., department) for social affairs [and the PLO] Families of the Martyrs and Wounded Institution]. What is the plan regarding the care of the prisoners' families and the activity with the [PLO] Department for Social Affairs?"
Head of PLO Department for Social Affairs Bassam Al-Salehi: "First, there won’t be any consensus regarding President Abbas’ positions like the existing consensus on his positions for the families of the Martyrs and the wounded. This is an open and clear position that is not debatable, which was said behind closed doors, before the world, and at the UN. In other words, it is out of the question to renounce the most precious thing the Palestinian people holds, and that is the memory of its Martyrs, their families' rights, the role of their fighters in prison, the wounded, and so on. Therefore, the position on the matter is firm."

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Abbas emphasizes that the salaries to terrorists and families of Martyrs will not stop, and that “their rights must not be compromised” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 30, 2018
“The Palestinian [PLO] Central Council held its 30th session in Ramallah, in the presence of [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas
The president emphasized that the salaries (rawatib) of our Martyrs (Shahids), prisoners, and wounded are a red line and that their rights must not be compromised, and also that from its first stone the settlement [enterprise] is illegal and opposes international law.”


PLO official: “…the priority, as the President [Abbas] said, will be the families of the Martyrs and the prisoners” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 30, 2018
Headline: “Abu Yusuf: The president is leading a battle against the enemies of the cause and the people”


“PLO Executive Committee member [and Secretary-General of the Palestinian Liberation Front] Dr. Wasel Abu Yusuf said: … ‘The leadership stands determinedly before the pressures and extortion policies, and the stopping of the aid and money, while depending on the justice of the cause and the sacrifice of the Palestinian people. We will never relinquish our people’s rights, and we will never allow them to be harmed. We adhere to our loyalty to the Martyrs (Shahids), prisoners, and wounded, and to the suffering and sacrifice of the Palestinian people. Despite the threats and pressures, we will not agree to harming the rights of the Martyrs’ families and the rights of the prisoners - and this is a sacred principle as far as we are concerned; and the priority, as the President [Abbas] said, will be the families of the Martyrs and the prisoners.’”

Wasel Abu Yusuf also holds the role of head of the PLO Department of Popular Organizations.

PLO decides to cut economic and security ties and freeze recognition of Israel, reiterates "our right to resist the occupation in all manners," opposes Taylor Force Act  
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 30, 2018
     “The Palestinian [PLO] Central Committee decided to end all of the commitments of the PLO and the PA to the agreements with the occupation authority ‘Israel,’ and primarily the freezing of the recognition of the State of Israel until [Israel] recognizes the State of Palestine in the borders of June 4, 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.... The Central Council also decided in its statement yesterday evening [Oct. 29, 2018] after the conclusion of the 30th regular session in Ramallah... in the presence of [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas, on the ending of the security coordination in all of its forms, and economic disengagement, in light of the fact that the transition period, including the Paris Agreement, is no longer valid…
The Central Council emphasized its adherence to our right to resist the occupation in all manners ‎(i.e., term used by Palestinians, which also refers to the use of violence and terror)‎, in accordance with international law. It praised the resolve of the prisoners of freedom in the Israeli occupation’s prisons… The Council opposed the American extortion - the Taylor Force Act, and the Israeli government’s decision to deduct the allowances (mukhassasat) of the families of the Martyrs, prisoners, and wounded from the Palestinian tax money, while blatantly violating international law...”

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Abbas: “The Martyrs and their families are sacred, [so are] the wounded and the prisoners. We must pay all of them” 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Oct. 28, 2018

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas:
"I say this to everyone – the salaries of our Martyrs, prisoners, and wounded are a red line. They [Israel] try by all means, and exert pressure by all means, and they continue to exert: 'It cannot be that you will pay.' And they’ll even deduct our money that’s in their hands. They’ll deduct from it the amount that we pay to the Martyrs. We have said that this is a red line and we will not allow [it]. From 1965 until now, this matter is sacred to us. The Martyrs and their families are sacred, [and so are] the wounded and the prisoners. We must pay all of them. If one penny remains in our hands it is for them and not for the living."
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Director of Prisoners’ Commission promises to continue salaries to terrorists and their families 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 19, 2018
      "In addition, [Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs Qadri] Abu Bakr visited the Nablus and Tubas districts and met with representatives of institutions and released prisoners. He emphasized to them that the commitment to the prisoners and their families continues until they achieve their freedom, and that the leadership has many [options] in order to respond to Israel’s intent – with the support of the US – to harm the Palestinian tax money and deduct the allowances (mukhassasat) of the Martyrs (Shahids) and prisoners from it (refers to Israeli law to deduct terrorist salaries from taxes collected for the PA; see note below –Ed.).”

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PLO committee “emphasized its pride in the legendary resolve of our brave prisoners… [and] will continue to take care of the families of the Martyrs, the prisoners, and the wounded,” despite the US and Israel 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 8, 2018
     “At its meeting yesterday [Oct. 7, 2018] in Ramallah, led by [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas, the [PLO] Executive Committee repeated its previous decisions and that which was said in President [Abbas’] speech before the [UN] General Assembly – in other words, resistance to the American administration being a partner or mediator in the peace process. It considered [the administration] part of the problem and not part of the solution… [The committee] emphasized its pride in the legendary resolve of our brave prisoners, who are continuing in their struggle and in their defiance towards the Israeli jailor in all areas. It also emphasized that it will continue to take care of the families of the Martyrs (Shahids), the prisoners, and the wounded, regardless of how much the American administration and the Israeli government exaggerate in the policy of blackmail and thuggery.”

Abbas at UN GA: "I pay tribute to our pure Martyrs and our heroic prisoners," defends PA salaries to terrorists` policy 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 29, 2018
Headline: "Experts: Mahmoud Abbas' support for the families of the Martyrs, the prisoners, and the wounded highlights that our struggle is national and not connected to terror"
       "From the UN podium [on Sept. 27, 2018], [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas again emphasized the commitment to continue supporting the families of the Martyrs (Shahids), the prisoners, and the wounded, while rejecting all of the pressures and decisions of Israel, and with it the US...
Among the things Abbas said in his speech: 'I pay tribute to our pure Martyrs and our heroic prisoners. I say to all Palestinians: First, Israel considers [the Martyrs and prisoners] criminals. Why? Why does it [do so], when it has many thousands of people who have attacked everybody - and these are heroes? Why is the one who murdered [former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak] Rabin considered a hero (sic., Israel does not consider Yigal Amir a hero, he is serving a life sentence in prison -Ed.), and we - our people - are criminals whom it is forbidden to pay? I pay tribute to our heroic Martyrs and prisoners! And I say to everybody, we are standing before a time close to the dawn of freedom and independence. The darkness of the occupation will come to its end'...."
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