Making a Difference
Norway continues investigating its aid to the PA, based on PMW documentation
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Is Norway funding the murderers of Israelis?

by Manfred Gerstenfeld

There have been greatly surprising developments in Norway in the past weeks. Conservative parliamentarian Peter Gitmark has said on television that his country is indirectly funding Palestinian terrorists. The country’s three largest opposition parties – the Conservatives, the Progress Party and the Christian Democrats – have asked for an investigation into Norwegian financing of the Palestinian Authority by the Parliamentary Committee on Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs. This committee has requested that the Foreign Ministry provide proper documentation clarifying the funding of Palestinian salaries paid to convicted terrorists.

Foreign Minister Barth Eide admitted that his predecessor Jonas Gahr Stoere had twice misled parliament. He had said in 2011 and 2012 that his ministry knew where Norwegian aid money to the Palestinian Authority went and that convicted terrorists in Israeli jails only received cafeteria money while their families are given financial support. State Secretary Torgeir Larsen has now disclosed that prisoners in Israeli jails serving long sentences receive payments from the PA. These prisoners can choose to whom they want to give the money. Contributing about 50 million dollars annually to the PA, Norway is one of its largest donors.

The government-owned Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) broadcast a television program on February 28 in which the claim was made that part of Norwegian taxpayers’ money goes to funding Palestinian murderers in Israeli jails. This was remarkable as NRK has a long record of anti-Israel bias and distorted reporting on the Middle East.

All of this was triggered by information provided by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW). It showed that the PA uses money from its budget to pay salaries to all Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails for security offenses. The recipients include those serving multiple life sentences for murder. Among them is Ibrahim Hamed, the man behind, among others, the Hebrew University cafeteria bombing and who was convicted for the murder of 46 Israelis...

At present the opposition parties are currently well ahead in the polls for the September 2013 parliamentary elections. The two largest ones – the Conservative and Progress parties – have already agreed on a positive change in attitude toward Israel if they win. In this context, the current pressure on the government to end the financing of Palestinian terrorists becomes even more meaningful.