|Yesterday, PMW director Itamar Marcus presented to members of US Congress a report documenting the Palestinian Authority's use of American funding to pay salaries to terrorists in Israeli prisons.
The following is the Jerusalem Post story on the event:
'US paying salaries for jailed Palestinian terrorists'
Media watchdog tells congressmen
PA spends over $5 million a month from US-provided budget
in salaries to terrorists in Israeli prisons
by Herb Keinon
The Palestinian Authority spends more than $5 million a month paying salaries to terrorists sitting in Israeli prisons, according to a Palestinian Media Watch report presented to congressmen in Washington on Tuesday.
According to the report, written by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, such payments contravene US law, which prohibits funding of any person who "engages in, or has engaged in terrorist activity.
"The US funds the PA's general budget," the document reads. "Through the PA budget the US is paying the salaries of terrorist murderers in prison and funding the glorification and role modeling of terrorists."
Marcus, director of Palestinian Media Watch, met with Republican lawmakers on Tuesday to discuss the report, amid efforts to get US congressmen - on the eve of the Palestinian move to gain statehood recognition at the UN in September - to cut US funds to the PA, not because of the Hamas and Fatah reconciliation, but because of the PA's support and glorification of terrorists.
According to the report, "A law signed and published in the official Palestinian Authority Registry in April 2011 puts all Palestinians and Israeli Arabs imprisoned in Israel for terror crimes on the PA payroll to receive a monthly salary from the PA."
The report says this law "formalizes what has long been a PA practice."
Those eligible for the payments, according to the report, are "anyone imprisoned in the occupation's [Israel's] prisons as a result of his participation in the struggle against the occupation."
Quoting from Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, an official daily newspaper of the Palestinian Authority, the report said that more than 5,500 Palestinian prisoners receive these funds.
Palestinian car thieves in Israeli prisons will not receive a salary, but every terrorist in prison including murderers are on the PA payroll, the report said, adding that "the salary goes directly to the terrorist or the terrorist's family."
The report said the average monthly salary for terrorist prisoners is NIS 3,129, more than the average monthly wage for a PA civil servant.
According to the report, the payments are dependent on foreign funding, and the PA law governing the payments stipulates that they "will be implemented... on the basis of available sources of funding."
The US provided some $600m. to the PA in 2010, including $225m. in direct budgetary assistance to the PA.
The 2010 appropriations act governing assistance to the West Bank and Gaza stipulated that the Secretary of State "shall take all appropriate steps to ensure that such assistance is not provided to or through any individual, private or government entity, or educational institution that the Secretary knows or has reason to believe advocates, plans, sponsors, engages in, or has engaged in, terrorist activity..."
The report also documented cases of the PA honoring and glorifying terrorists for attacks, which is also contrary to US law that stipulated that no US funds to the West Bank "may be made available for the purpose of recognizing or otherwise honoring individuals who commit, or have committed acts of terrorism."
Among the examples listed in the report of the PA glorifying terrorists are a summer camp for children sponsored by PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in which campers were divided into three groups named after terrorists: Dalal Mughrabi, who led the Coastal Road Massacre in 1978; Salah Khalaf, head of Black September that carried out the Munich Massacre in 1972; and Abu Ali Mustafa, the general secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine that carried out numerous terrorist attacks.
[Jerusalem Post, July 27, 2011
Click to view PMW full report in PDF