The Palestinian Arab Rewards for Terror landscape is suddenly going through some changes.
That’s not the official name of the long-running Palestinian Authority payments scheme that provides lifetime cash rewards and meaningless, well-paying jobs for convicted terrorists. But in the interests of calling a spade a spade it’s how we have referred to it for years. (Others call it Pay-to-Slay which captures the nuance of this ugliness well.)
Some background from a June 16, 2017 on-line paper published by Middle East Media Research Institute [link]
Since its establishment, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has been paying allowances to Palestinian security prisoners in Israeli prisons, both past and present, as well as to the wounded and to the families of individuals “martyred,” including in carrying out attacks against Israelis… The allowances paid by the PA to incarcerated and released prisoners and to the families of “martyrs” were described in detail by MEMRI president Yigal Carmon in a July 6, 2016 testimony to the U.S. Congress (See MEMRI Daily Brief No. 97, MEMRI President Yigal Carmon’s Testimony To House Committee On Foreign Affairs, July 6, 2016: Palestinian Authority Support For Imprisoned, Released, And Wounded Terrorists And Families Of ‘Martyrs,’ July 6, 2016)… The support for the prisoners is mainly anchored in two laws from 2004, Law No. 14 and Law No. 19, and in a 2013 amendment to the latter law… The laws and amendment stipulate that the PA must provide the prisoners with financial support and with education for them and their children, and that upon their release it must see to their rehabilitation and employ them in PA institutions. The laws grant the prisoners a series of benefits, including exemption from various fees for education, professional training and healthcare, as well as a monthly allowance during their incarceration, as well as a clothing allowance. The laws state further that, in case of released prisoners employed as PA civil servants, the years spent in prison are to be calculated as part of their tenure…
Both the Trump administration and Israel have been making increasingly urgent calls in recent months for Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority’s president-for-life, to stop the program.
The raucous Palestinian Arab responses have not been slow in coming. They keep hammering away on the same well-known themes: the payments “are not going to be stopped“; supporting the “prisoners” and the “martyrs” amounts to a “national duty that cannot be compromised“; they are “a red line“, a “fundamental principle“; the mere raising of the issue is “U.S.-Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people and the PA“. And in the words of an especially odious “senior foreign policy adviser” to Abbas, anyone who expects the Palestinian leadership to halt payments to Palestinian prisoners serving sentences in Israeli security prisons must be “mad“.
In mean time, as a report [“PA cuts salaries to Hamas prisoners“] published by the Al-Monitor site on June 23, 2017 explains, payments to certain parts of the Palestinian Arab jihadist ranks have indeed stopped. Quoting
Hamas leader Abdel Rahman Shedid, himself a former prisoner who was exiled to the Gaza Strip and currently serves as the head of the prisoners’ media bureau in Gaza…
the salaries of some
277 prisoners released in the 2011 prisoner exchange deal and affiliated with Hamas… were cut off by the Palestinian Authority (PA) without specifying why. Although this decision was not officially announced by the PA, it was implemented in early June . He told Al-Monitor that the decision will negatively affect former prisoners because many of them have no alternative sources of livelihood, especially those exiled abroad, while others are sick and depend on the salary in order to secure the cost of treatment, describing the decision as “unpatriotic and immoral.” Shedid, whose salary has also been cut off, said he was informed by PA officials, which he refused to name, that the salaries of the 277 former Hamas prisoners released as part of the 2011 swap deal were cut off… [Al Monitor]
Is this due to Israeli pressure? US persuasion? Perish the thought!
The decision to stop paying the 277 former prisoners falls within the context of the Palestinian division (Fatah-Hamas) and comes as part of the PA’s pressure on Hamas to cede power in Gaza to the consensus government. Issa Qaraqe, the chairman of the Palestinian Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs (formerly the Ministry of Prisoners), told Al-Monitor, “The PA is still paying the stipends of the families of prisoners and martyrs and will continue to do so. This issue is considered a red line.” As for the salaries of the 277 former prisoners that were cut off, Qaraqe said, “This decision was taken by the PA amid the ongoing dispute with Hamas. The decision is part of the [PA’s] pressure on the movement and has nothing to do with the United States and Israel calling on the PA to stop paying the Palestinian prisoners [currently in Israeli jails]…” Meanwhile, the PA has yet to comment or explain the decision it took…. [Al Monitor]
While the Abbas people stay firmly non-committal, their official “government spokesperson“, Yusuf al-Mahmoud, gave Al-Monitor some insight into the mutual backstabbing that is a perpetual feature of Palestinian Arab politics:
“I’m not sure how accurate this is, and that’s why I cannot comment on the issue because no official decision was issued. But the government would never take any action that does not serve the interests of the Palestinian citizens and prisoners.” He explained that the government’s general stance would always take into consideration the people’s best interest… In addition to cutting off the salaries of former prisoners on June 1, the government cut off the salaries of nine members of the Fatah bloc in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) who were dismissed from the movement for having “other allegiances,” in reference to dismissed Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan… [Al Monitor]
|Reduced circumstances? Mass murderer and FBI fugitive Ahlam Tamimi|
It’s pleasing to note that one of the unrepentant thugs whose Rewards for Terror payments have been stopped for now is the barbarian, currently sought by the FBI for masterminding the massacre at Jerusalem’s Sbarro pizzeria, who murdered our daughter.
This Arabic media report [link] appears to have gotten little or no coverage in any language but indicates, according to our indispensable Arabic-language helpers, that the cashflow which has underpinned Ahlam Tamimi‘s very comfortable lifestyle in the Jordanian capital Amman for the past five and a half years (click to view some video of her living room) has just been substantially downgraded. She has been cut out of the Rewards for Terror. (She’s closely aligned with Hamas. Is that why? We’re digging.)
But there’s no need to be passing the hat for this loathsome and thoroughly remorseless murderer of Jewish children so quickly. We’re told by reliable sources she continues to be well-taken-care-of – and funded – by Jordan’s powerful and resurgent Muslim Brotherhood. This must be a great comfort to her and her circle as they fight to frustrate the efforts of the United States Department of Justice to have her extradited to stand trial in a Federal court in Washington.