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PMW reports prompt debate in Danish Parliament about its funding of the PA
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PMW reports prompt debate in Danish Parliament
about its funding of the PA

Danish MP: "What will the Foreign Minister do to ensure
that our money is spent on the intended purpose,
and not on terrorists?"

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Following Palestinian Media Watch's exposure of the Palestinian Authority's glorification of terrorists and payment of high salaries to security prisoners, including terrorists convicted of murder, debates have ensued in European Parliaments, among them Norway, the UK and Holland. Now, Denmark's financial aid to the PA is likewise being questioned in Danish Parliament.

Danish MP Søren Espersen asked Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal:
"Norway has started [investigating PA use of funding], the UK has started and they are asking: What's going on? ... What I want the [Foreign] Minister to do is to say: 'It matters to us very much that every coin we send [to the PA] for one purpose or another should be thoroughly checked...' What will the Foreign Minister do to ensure us that our money is spent on [the intended] purpose, and not on terrorists?"
 
Click to view

Two weeks earlier, MP Espersen had posed a similar question in writing to the Foreign Minister, inquiring whether Denmark and the EU were funding Palestinian terrorist prisoners. His question followed PMW's release of an interview with the wife of a prisoner who complained on PA TV that her imprisoned husband had complete control of his PA salary, leaving her and her children in poverty. Her statements confirmed PMW's repeated reports that the prisoner, not the family, is in control of the PA salary, and proved wrong the PA's claims repeated by the governments of Norway and the UK that the prisoner salaries are "social aid" that is given to the families.

Citing PMW's report, MP Espersen asked:
"Can the [Foreign] Minister confirm the statement from the wife of a jailed Palestinian terrorist, in which she says that the Palestinian Authority pays money to terrorist prisoners, which logically means that Denmark and the EU support terrorist prisoners financially - as evidenced by this link [to PMW report on salaries paid to the prisoners and not to the families]?"
 
In his written response, Danish Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal said he was "not able to confirm the specific statement referred to with the enclosed link to Palestinian Media Watch." He then repeated the false information that the PA supports the families and not the prisoners:
"The PA pays various transfer payments outside of the EU's budget support, including support for families of Palestinians serving prison sentences in Israeli prisons or those detained administratively." (See complete answer of Danish Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal below.)
 
PMW notes that the PMW report and video that the Danish Foreign Minister could "not confirm" is still accessible online. In that video, the PA Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Karake himself confirms that the prisoner, and not his wife, controls his own monthly salary. Despite this, the Danish Foreign Minister continues to maintain that the PA pays "support for families" and refuses to acknowledge that the PA pays salaries to the prisoners, who then control to whom they can pass on the salary.

Click to see PMW's latest report on the developing story in Norway.
Click to see PMW's latest report on the debate in the UK.
Click to see PMW's report to the Dutch Foreign Affairs Committee on PA glorification of terrorists.

The following is an excerpt of Danish MP Søren Espersen's question to Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal in Parliament about Danish funding going to imprisoned Palestinian terrorists, April 24, 2013, followed by the Minister's answer:

MP Espersen: "The idea was really to get some control over the money we (Denmark) send [to the PA]. Perhaps that is something the Foreign Minister could start to address. This is happening on a large scale in Norway at the moment. [They] are preparing a hearing on what the money from Norway [to the PA] is actually spent on. Is it, for example, as rumors have said on Norwegian TV, spent on [salary] payments for convicted terrorists [imprisoned] for life and their relatives, who are living good lives because one of their relatives has carried out a terrorist attack? Norway has started [investigating this], the UK has started and [they] are asking: What's going on? What I want the [Foreign] Minister to do, is to say: "It matters to us very much that every coin we send for one purpose or another should be thoroughly checked. What is it spent on? Is this what we want?" This is what I ask of the Minister, especially in cases that have to do with rewarding jihadists and terrorists who detonate bombs among civilians. What will the Foreign Minister do to ensure us that our money is spent on its intended purpose, and not on terrorists?"

Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal: "We continuously monitor the money we send [to the PA] to make sure it ends up precisely at the humanitarian causes, we support: Among other things, the purpose of ensuring the payment of salaries to employees, ensuring that senior citizens receive their pensions, and ensuring that there is a security structure in Palestine or the West Bank, which, in the long run and also in the here and now, [will] mean security for Israel. Naturally, I am somewhat engaged in this discussion because I think this world would be a much more peaceful place the day we succeed in achieving a two-state solution.
I heard Obama's speech when he recently visited Palestine and Israel. He gave an excellent talk about the children, who, whether born in Israel [or not], have a legitimate right to live in safety, and Palestinian children who also have a claim to a hope for a future. If the international community is not able to deliver the answers, from the EU, the US, and the UN, then I'm afraid the current deadlocked situation will continue, to the detriment of the people living in Palestine in the long term and also to the detriment of those people living in Israel."
[Danish Parliament debate, April 24, 2013, Excerpt from Question no. US 126
by MP Søren Espersen (DF, Danish People's Party)
to Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal (SF, Socialist People's Party)]

For full video of Q&A session in Danish, see:
http://www.ft.dk/webtv/video/20121/salen/85.aspx?i=2013-04-24T13:09:04&o=2013-04-24T13:18:43&ti=M%C3%B8de%20i%20Folketingssalen&dsc=Dato%3A%2024-04-2013&h=255&w=350

The following is an excerpt of Danish MP Søren Espersen's written question to Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal of April 10, 2013, followed by the Minister's answer of April 15, 2013:

Danish Parliament, April 10, 2013, Written Question no. S 1619 About imprisoned terrorists from MP Søren Espersen (DF, Danish People's Party) to Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal:

Question by MP Søren Espersen: "Can the [Foreign] Minister confirm the statement from the wife of a jailed Palestinian terrorist, in which she says that the Palestinian Authority pays money to terrorist prisoners, which logically means that Denmark and the EU support terrorist prisoners financially - as evidenced by this link [to PMW report on salaries paid to the prisoners and not to the families]?" http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=8783
[§20-Question S-1619 About imprisoned terrorists,
by MP Søren Espersen to Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal,
submitted April 10, 2013]

Answer by Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal: "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not able to confirm the specific statement referred to with the enclosed link to Palestinian Media Watch.
In general, [we] refer to the answer to 22.8.2011 of URU 229. It appears from [this answer] that the EU supports the Palestinian Authority partly through budget support and partly through a series of aid investments and projects. Particularly the budget support aims to ensure the PA's ability to offer a wide range of basic services to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. The EU's support for the Authority's general budget is mainly used for monthly transfers for salaries and pensions to government employees, senior citizens and vulnerable Palestinian families in the West Bank and Gaza. EU support to vulnerable Palestinian families is conditional upon the individual family's financial situation, and recipients are screened thoroughly, among other things, on the basis of international sanctions lists. In addition, the PA pays various transfer payments outside of the EU's budget support, including support for families of Palestinians serving prison sentences in Israeli prisons or those detained administratively. According to the PA, such transfer payments are granted according to the length of the sentence and not its nature."
[Answer submitted April 15, 2013 by Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal
to §20-Question S-1619 About imprisoned terrorists by MP Søren Espersen]

For Danish version of this Q&A, see:
http://www.ft.dk/samling/20121/spoergsmaal/S1619/svar/1045214/1237431/index.htm