Palestinian officials: No plan on stopping PA salary for terrorists program, but program might be labelled differently
Al-Ayyam - June 15, 2017

 
Headline: “Senior Palestinian officials emphasized the continued payment of the Martyrs and prisoners’ allowances: There are no plans to stop them”
(The article begins with an Arabic translation of a Reuters article from June 14, 2017 –Ed.) 
     "Palestinian officials say there are no plans to stop payments to families of Palestinians killed or wounded carrying out attacks against Israelis, contradicting comments by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Tillerson told a Senate hearing on Tuesday (June 13, 2017) he had received reassurances from [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas that the Palestinian Authority would end the practice of paying a monthly stipend to the families of suicide bombers and other attackers, commonly referred to by Palestinians as Martyrs (Shahids).
The issue of compensation has become a sticking point in efforts to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, with Israeli officials citing it as one reason they do not regard Abbas as a ‘partner for peace.’
‘They have changed their policy,’ Tillerson said, referring to the Palestinians. ‘At least I have been informed they've changed that policy and their intent is to cease payments.’
But Palestinian officials said they were not aware of any change and that it was unlikely a policy that has been a cornerstone of social support for decades would be altered.
‘There have been talks about making the payments in a different way, but not ending them,’ said one official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment on discussions held with the Americans.
‘They could perhaps be labeled differently,’ he said, suggesting the description ‘Martyr’ could be dropped, but he added: ‘They are not going to be stopped.’
(The following is not from the Reuters article –Ed.)
Chairman of the [PA-funded] Prisoners’ Club Qadura Fares, in an interview with [Israeli Arab website] Arab 48, denied that there will be any harm to the allowances (mukhassasat) of the families of the prisoners and Martyrs. He emphasized that there is a Palestinian consensus that opposes any conditioning concerning this ‘noble and fighting’ group.
Fares said that the [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs is the one responsible for the matter of the prisoners, and no new orders have reached it regarding harming the salaries (rawatib) of the prisoners and the Martyrs’ families. He added: ‘We are not aware that any decision of this sort has been made.’”
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