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PA salaries to terrorists
PA salaries to terrorists
In April 2011, the Palestinian Authority Registry published a Government Resolution granting all Palestinian prisoners imprisoned in Israel for security and terror-related offenses a monthly salary from the PA (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 15, 2011). This new resolution, called PA Government Resolution of 2010, numbers 21 and 23, formalized what has long been a PA practice.

The PA defined which Palestinians would be considered "prisoners": "Anyone imprisoned in the occupation's [Israel's] prisons as a result of his participation in the struggle against the occupation" (Ch. 1 of Law of Prisoners, 2004/19, www.alasra.ps, accessed May 9, 2011)

According to the PA definition, more than 4,500 Palestinian prisoners (as of December 2012) serving time for terror-related offenses are recipients of PA salaries. This means that Palestinians convicted of crimes such as theft do not receive a salary, but Hamas and Fatah terrorist murderers do.

These monthly payments to prisoners are paid from the PA’s general budget and income taxes are paid, as is the case with all other PA salaries (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 19, 2011). According to the language of the PA regulation as well as PA economic reports on government salaries, the monthly salaries to prisoners range from 2,400 shekels to 12,000 shekels. The PA economic report listed the prisoners’ salaries as part of the PA general salary budget, which includes civil servants, military personnel and others. (Life and the Market, supplement to Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 19, 2011). It was not listed as a social service payment.

The PA’s general budget and salary budget is funded by numerous donor countries. Since 2011, PMW has been documenting that international donors' aid money given for salaries and to the PA general budget pays the salaries of Palestinian terrorists imprisoned in Israel. This is in violation of the letter or spirit of the laws of the funding countries.

Responding to queries from donor countries following PMW reports, the PA told the donor countries that they changed the wording of the law from “salaries” – “ratib”- to “assistance” – “i’ana.” British Minister of State stated in a letter that “we have discussed these issues with the PA at the highest levels” and “the PA has now changed the wording in the Cabinet Decision to unambiguously refer to the payment as assistance – i’ana.’” (Letter from Minister of State Alan Duncan to MP Mike Freer, see report here) However, the PA immediately contradicted what Duncan had claimed, calling it a rumor:

“[Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa] Karake denies rumors about changing salaries (Arabic: rawatib) into social assistance (Arabic: i'anat ijtima'iya)…” [WAFA (the official Palestinian Authority news agency), Dec. 27, 2012]
 
This was likewise corroborated by Prisoners' Club Chairman Qadura Fares, when he announced that the PA had finalized a final version of the law “which considers payments made to prisoners 'salaries,' (Arabic: ratib) to which no other term applies.” [Al-Quds Internet edition, Dec. 27, 2012]

To view all PMW reports on PA salaries to terrorist prisoners, click here.

Canteen allowances for prisoners amount to ‎‎3 million shekels per month‎ 
Source: WAFA news agency, Sept. 9, 2014
     ‎“The [PA] Finance Ministry and the [PLO] ‎Authority of Prisoners’ and Released ‎Prisoners’ Affairs emphasized that the ‎prisoners’ canteen allowances for the ‎month of August [2014] have been ‎transferred to the banks in keeping with ‎the usual procedure. ‎The Finance Ministry and the Prisoners’ ‎Authority emphasized in a joint press ‎release today, Tuesday [Sept. 9, 2014], ‎that they are working, in consultation with ‎the prisoners and all relevant factors, to ‎fix the canteen [allowance] payment ‎system...‎ In addition, they emphasized that the ‎government will not avoid the payments ‎related to prisoners in prison, [including] ‎canteen [allowances], despite the state’s ‎severe financial crisis.‎
The announcement read [as follows]: ‎‎‘The understandings [we] have had with ‎the Israel Prison Service and the Israeli ‎DDS company, and which are applicable ‎today, stipulate that there must be ‎equality between the regular criminal ‎prisoners and the fighter security ‎prisoners. In addition, it should be noted ‎that these understandings, which drain ‎the treasury, have unfair repercussions, ‎as they exclude the prisoners from ‎Jerusalem and the prisoners of 1948 (i.e., ‎because they are Israeli Arabs and not ‎considered citizens of the PA).’ ‎[The announcement] added: ‘The sum ‎total of the canteen [allowances], which ‎is close to 3 million shekels a month, ‎includes 800,000 shekels a month for ‎criminal prisoners, meaning 9 million ‎shekels a year. The sum total over the ‎past 10 years reached approximately 90 ‎million shekels.’”‎
Karake appointed head of Authority of Prisoners' Affairs, a PLO body, in attempt to shield PA from donor pressure on prisoner issue 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 3, 2014
     "Following the publication of the presidential decree transforming the [PA] Ministry of Prisoners' [Affairs] into an authority, an official ceremony was held yesterday [Sept. 2, 2014] to transfer [the ministry portfolio] from former Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Shawqi Issa to the [new] head of the [Supreme National] Authority [of Prisoners' Affairs], Minister Issa Karake, who was appointed by the President [Mahmoud Abbas]. [Former Minister Shawqi] Issa emphasized the need for extensive cooperation under all circumstances and [at all] times, because the prisoners' issue is on the leadership's agenda. He also emphasized that all efforts must be concentrated in this direction.
The head of the authority, Issa Karake, thanked Minister Issa for the efforts he has invested and continues to invest, and expressed his hope that things would progress smoothly, given that the authority must become established and organized - [a process] which will take some time."
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Note: In an interview on Ajyal radio (independent Palestinian radio station), Karake confirmed that the PA Ministry of Prisoners Affairs was transformed into the Supreme National Authority of Prisoners' Affairs, subordinate to the PLO, in an attempt to deflect international pressure on the PA on the issue of Palestinian terrorist prisoners who receive PA salaries. To view the interview, click here.
Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs now part of PLO, in ploy to shield PA from donor pressure about prisoners' salaries 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 3, 2014
     "In its meeting yesterday [Sept. 2, 2014], the [PA] government appointed former [PA] Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Karake head of the Authority of Prisoners' Affairs, and revoked Minister Shawqi Issa's appointment to this position... (When the Fatah-Hamas unity government was formed in June 2014, Shawqi Issa became Minister of Prisoners' Affairs instead of Issa Karake -Ed.)
[Subheadline] Karake Appointed Head of [Authority] for Prisoners' Affairs:
The government has approved the revoking of its decision to appoint Minister Shawqi Issa supervisor of the Ministry of Prisoners' and Released Prisoners' Affairs, based on the presidential decree published on the matter, which states that it [the Ministry] is to be transformed from a ministry subordinate to the Palestinian government into a Supreme National Authority of Prisoners' and Released Prisoners' Affairs, subordinate to the PLO and supervised by it and by the Palestinian presidency. The decree also states that Issa Karake, the former Minister of Prisoners' and Released Prisoners' Affairs, is to be appointed head of this authority."
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Note: In an interview on Ajyal radio (independent Palestinian radio station), Karake confirmed that the PA Ministry of Prisoners Affairs was transformed into the Supreme National Authority of Prisoners' Affairs, subordinate to the PLO, in an attempt to deflect international pressure on the PA on the issue of Palestinian terrorist prisoners who receive PA salaries. To view the interview, click here.
Karake appointed head of Authority of Prisoners' Affairs, part of ploy to shield PA from donor pressure on prisoner issue 
Source: Al-Ayyam, Aug. 31, 2014
     "Congratulations to the Head of the Authority of Prisoners' and Released Prisoners' Affairs, Minister Issa Karake
Journalist Hakam Jum'a Al-Kharraz and the Al-Kharraz family in Tubas and Nablus congratulate Minister Issa Karake on the great faith President Abbas, may Allah protect him, has placed in him by appointing him head of the Authority of Prisoners' and Released Prisoners' Affairs.
May Allah grant you success in serving the people of your homeland in supporting the prisoners' and released prisoners' issue. We wish our brave prisoners a swift release from the occupation prisons and [we wish] for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital."
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Note: In an interview on Ajyal radio (independent Palestinian radio station), Karake confirmed that the PA Ministry of Prisoners Affairs was transformed into the Supreme National Authority of Prisoners' Affairs, subordinate to the PLO, in an attempt to deflect international pressure on the PA on the issue of Palestinian terrorist prisoners who receive PA salaries. To view the interview, click here.
PA to use international funding to pay salaries of Hamas military 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 31, 2014
     ‎“Hamas is demanding that approximately ‎‎42,000 employees it has employed in ‎various Palestinian institutions since its ‎takeover of the Gaza Strip [in 2007] be ‎added to the official PA payroll. According ‎to Palestinian sources, approximately ‎‎20,000 of them work in the military ‎sector.
Yet the Palestinian official said the ‎government was contending with the ‎problem of raising the funds necessary [to ‎pay] such a large number of employees, in ‎addition to fears that ‘paying Hamas ‎employees would be detrimental to the PA ‎treasury.’ The official added that ‘the world ‎defines Hamas as a ‘terrorist’ ‎‎[organization], and the government ‎wishes to [secure] guarantees that would ‎enable the PA to pay these salaries.’‎
‎[PA] Government spokesman Ehab ‎Bessaiso... said: ‘The ‎solution to the problem depends on ‎international guarantees that will be given ‎to facilitate the raising of the funds, as ‎well as on guarantees that will protect the ‎PA Finance [Ministry] from external ‎accusations regarding international law.... Nonetheless, we ‎are trying to transfer payments to these ‎workers, who number approximately ‎‎42,000.’ According to Bessaiso, the sum ‎total of the PA monthly salaries amounts ‎to approximately 700 million shekels (200 ‎million dollars) [parenthesis in source], of ‎which approximately 400 million shekels ‎‎(120 million dollars) [parenthesis in ‎source] come from taxes collected by ‎Israel for the PA. Of that sum, 200 million ‎shekels (about 57 million dollars) ‎‎[parenthesis in source] are collected ‎internally, while another approximately 35 ‎million dollars come from donations from ‎abroad.‎”‎
From Agence France-Presse

Palestinian minister confirms PA ploy to continue terrorist salaries 
Source: Ajyal radio (independent Palestinian radio station), Aug. 30, 2014
Minister of the Supreme National Authority of Prisoners' Affairs, Issa Karake: "‎[Incorporating the Authority of Prisoners' Affairs] into the PLO may give ‎‎[the prisoners' issue] new power and new momentum, even with the relations with the ‎international community and with several parties that have attempted to exert pressure ‎on the PA in recent years, claiming that the Palestinian government has been ‎allocating some of its funds for the prisoners’ families. This is a result of Israeli ‎pressure and Israeli propaganda, [which claims] these funds are being earmarked... for the benefit of the ‎families of the prisoners, whom they accuse of terrorism...‎"
Interviewer: "Would you say this formal change, in quotation marks, was done or ‎devised to avoid international pressure, which Israel pushed for?"
Karake: "‎[That’s] one of the reasons, yes... The Palestinian leadership was subject to real pressure... We told them [international donors] it ‎was a matter of freedom, a matter of fighter-prisoners, a matter of a national liberation ‎movement, and so the idea that it would be part of the PLO was conceived... The ‎Palestinian leadership, President Abbas and the members of the [PLO’s] Executive ‎Committee confirmed that this change would in no way affect the importance and ‎significance of the prisoners’ issue, neither in terms of politics and the struggle nor in ‎terms of the services [provided to the prisoners].‎"
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Karake appointed head of the Authority of Prisoners' Affairs, no longer a PA body but part of the PLO 
Source: PNN Palestine News Network (independent Palestinian news agency), Aug. 29, 2014
Headline: "Presidential decree turned Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs into National Authority and appointed Karake Minister of [the Authority]"
     "Palestine News Network [PNN] has learned that President Mahmoud Abbas has published a presidential decree which will turn the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners' and Released Prisoners' Affairs from a ministry that is subordinate to the Palestinian government into a Supreme National Authority of Prisoners' and Released Prisoners' Affairs, which will be subordinate to the PLO and supervised by it and by the Palestinian presidency.
In addition, the decree appointed Issa Karake to head this authority, in the rank of minister.
Minister Karake will receive the responsibility of managing this authority, which will supervise and take care of the prisoners' issues in the various districts of the homeland."
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Note: In an interview on Ajyal radio (independent Palestinian radio station), Karake confirmed that the PA Ministry of Prisoners Affairs was transformed into the Supreme National Authority of Prisoners' Affairs, subordinate to the PLO, in an attempt to deflect international pressure on the PA on the issue of Palestinian terrorist prisoners who receive PA salaries. To view the interview, click here.
Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs now subordinate to the PLO, in ploy to deflect donor pressure on prisoner issue 
Source: PNN Palestine News Network (independent Palestinian news agency), Aug. 29, 2014
Headline: "Presidential decree turned Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs into National Authority and appointed Karake Minister of [the Authority]"
     "Palestine News Network [PNN] has learned that President Mahmoud Abbas has published a presidential decree which will turn the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners' and Released Prisoners' Affairs from a ministry that is subordinate to the Palestinian government into a Supreme National Authority of Prisoners' and Released Prisoners' Affairs, which will be subordinate to the PLO and supervised by it and by the Palestinian presidency.
In addition, the decree appointed Issa Karake to head this authority, in the rank of minister.
Minister Karake will receive the responsibility of managing this authority, which will supervise and take care of the prisoners' issues in the various districts of the homeland."
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Note: In an interview on Ajyal radio (independent Palestinian radio station), Karake confirmed that the PA Ministry of Prisoners Affairs was transformed into the Supreme National Authority of Prisoners' Affairs, subordinate to the PLO, in an attempt to deflect international pressure on the PA on the issue of Palestinian terrorist prisoners who receive PA salaries. To view the interview, click here.
Ministry: Salaries will be paid according to new regulation starting in July 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 13, 2014
     “The Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs said yesterday [June 12, 2014] that the released prisoners’ salaries would be paid according to the new regulation starting from the beginning of this coming July, following the agreement reached between the government and the Released Prisoners’ Committee.
The Ministry explained that after a series of meetings and discussions, an agreement was reached which will serve a large number of released prisoners, and [that] a period of 6 months was granted the prisoners who had not finished [filling out] their documents, so that they may fulfill all the conditions and benefit from the decision. The Ministry called on all prisoners affected by the regulation to turn to its centers in all districts of the homeland as soon as possible to obtain the approved form, fill it out and attach the required documents, [adding that] married prisoners must bring their marriage contracts.”
Fatah official confirms: Change from PA "Ministry" to PLO "Authority" is a ploy to avoid donor pressure to stop prisoners' salaries 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 11, 2014
     "At a press conference he organized at the Fatah faction headquarters in Ramallah yesterday, [Fatah Central Committee member Azzam] Al-Ahmad told Al-Hayat Al-Jadida that 'the decision to close the Ministry of Information was made in the past and will soon be implemented.' In addition, he said that it had been decided to transform the Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs into an authority subordinate to the PLO, in the wake of international pressure aimed at preventing the payments to the prisoners in the occupation...
Al-Ahmad rejected the attempts to cast doubt on the leadership's position regarding support of the prisoners, and said: 'We stopped the negotiations after Israel refused to release the last group of prisoners, and they are the "apple of our eye."'
Al-Ahmad noted that in the past, problems had arisen with donor countries regarding the aid to the Martyrs' families, and that their files had therefore been transferred to the PLO. He added: 'In recent months, there have been attempts on the part of the donors to exert pressure [on us] to stop the payments to the prisoners in the occupation prisons, causing us to transfer the issue of the prisoners back to the prisoners' and Martyrs' (Shahids') original mother [organization] (the PLO) [parenthesis in source].'
He noted that the national efforts must lead to getting rid of the Oslo Accords and their results, and said: 'We don't want any council, government or chairman based on the Oslo Accords; we want a state president, a state parliament and a state government. Even if they try to prevent us from [achieving] this, we have original solutions.'
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For the complete translation, click "full article."
PA pays prisoners a total of $12 million a month 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, June 11, 2014
Fatah spokesman Ahmad Assaf: "The Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs established under the PA has the third largest monthly budget in the PA. It's the third largest PA government ministry. Over 40 million shekels (i.e., 12 million dollars) a month, which the PA pays the prisoners, the released prisoners and their families."
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PA spokesman confirms: Change from PA "Ministry" to PLO "Authority" is a change in name only, salaries will continue 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, June 5, 2014
PA TV host: "What was proposed on the issue of the Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs, and that it should be under the PLO?"
PA government spokesman Ehab Bessaiso: "The change of the Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs into the Authority of Prisoners' Affairs is not the [PA] government's issue, but the PLO's issue. The Palestinian government is part of the PLO... [The change] will provide political and legal cover for this issue. In addition, it eliminates the many arguments made by many parties, who always try to say that [foreign] aid money [to the PA] is going to the prisoners, to cover the prisoners' expenses. We all owe it to the prisoners to protect their rights and fulfill their due. They spend years in prison and pay the price. The question isn't the name, or the role, but rather, the framework for the political distribution of roles regarding these issues. When we talk about the prisoners, we are talking about a basic component of Palestinian political activity."
PA TV host: "None of the prisoners' rights will change. Only the name has changed. Instead of calling it "Ministry," we call it "Authority," but the [prisoners'] salaries will continue to flow, everything will continue - all the allowances... People are concerned about their livelihood; that it may be cut off. We clarify it for them that nothing will harm the prisoners; their rights - under a ministry that became an authority - will remain the same."
PA government spokesman Ehab Bessaiso: "If you want me to put it simply, then yes, that was [put] simply."
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PA prime minister denies statement published in his name that Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs will be turned into an authority 
Source: Quds Press international News Agency, June 3, 2014
     “The Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Consensus [Government], Rami Hamdallah, denied what was published in his name yesterday [June 6, 2014] by the PA’s official news agency, about the Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs having been closed and [about the] action being taken to transform it into an authority subordinate to the PLO – a move which Hamas, in an initial response, termed a ‘coup against the reconciliation.’ At a press conference held after the first meeting of the National Consensus Government on Tuesday morning [June 3, 2014], Hamdallah said that what the media outlets had discussed with respect to the transformation of the Ministry of Prisoners’ [Affairs] into an ‘authority’ was incorrect, and added: ‘turning the Ministry of Prisoners’ [Affairs] into an authority is under the PLO’s authority, not the government’s. The Ministry of Prisoners’ [Affairs] still exists, and is run by Minister of Social Affairs Shawqi Issa,’ he said.
WAFA, the official PA news agency, noted yesterday that the Prime Minister of the National Consensus Government, Rami Hamdallah had said, in private statements made a few hours after being sworn in, that it had been decided to transform the Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs into an ‘authority’ subordinate to the PLO, and that the task of overseeing it has been entrusted to Minister of Social Affairs Shawqi Issa until the process of its transformation has been completed.”
PA official: Abbas has increased budget for prisoners fivefold 
Source: Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, June 2, 2014
     “[PA] Deputy Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs Ziyad Abu Ein said that the Ministry exists and will not be closed until its status is determined, whether through the creation of a Prisoners’ [Affairs] Authority or by leaving it as it is. In a statement to Ma’an, he added: ‘The Ministry of Prisoners’ [Affairs] still exists in the makeup of the new government and is operating as an institution with all its elements. A discussion was held regarding its replacement with a supreme authority, but no presidential decree has been issued on the matter.’ He went on and said: ‘I am surprised by and condemn all the noise [being made] around the Ministry of Prisoners’ [Affairs], especially since it has not been closed, but [rather], there are thoughts to replace it with an authority whose powers will be no less than that of the Ministry. In addition, the prisoners’ issue is receiving double support from the President [Mahmoud Abbas], since Mahmoud Abbas has increased its budget fivefold.’”
PA prime minister announces Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs will be turned into an authority 
Source: Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, June 2, 2014
     “[PA] Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said that the government has decided to turn the Ministry of Prisoners’ [Affairs] into an authority, and that the task of overseeing it has been entrusted to Minister of Social Affairs Shawqi Issa until the process of its transformation has been completed.”
Fatah official: Arab countries support prisoners' salaries, but some European countries think it "isn't in their interests" 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, June 2, 2014
Official PA TV program The State of Politics hosted Deputy Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee and Head of the Supreme Council for Sport and Youth Affairs Jibril Rajoub, who spoke about the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation and mentioned the issue of the transfer of money to Palestinian prisoners.
Deputy Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee and Head of the Supreme Council for Sport and Youth Affairs Jibril Rajoub: “There are Arab and Islamic countries for whom this issue [the transfer of money to prisoners] – there is no dispute about supporting it. You know some of the European countries, they think this isn’t in their interests, and they don’t want it, okay?”
Whether the PA pays the salaries or the PLO pays the salaries, "It makes no difference" 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 1, 2014
     "Abu Ein emphasized that the Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs will continue to operate in its present form until the publication of the [presidential] decree. He noted that according to law, when no Minister of Prisoners' Affairs is appointed, the Prime Minister is entrusted with the prisoners' affairs portfolio."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 1, 2014]

     "The Secretary-General of Fatah's Revolutionary Council, Amin Maqbul... emphasized that the Prisoners' Affairs Authority will enjoy all the powers that the Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs had."
[Ma'an, independent Palestinian news agency, June 2, 2014]

     "[Fatah Central Committee member Azzam] Al-Ahmad said: '... There is no room for argument over the prisoners' issue. It makes no difference whether it will be a Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs, or an Authority, or an association."
[Ma'an, independent Palestinian news agency, June 2, 2014]
 
PA to transfer handling of prisoners' salaries to PLO in order to negate “the interference of the donor countries” 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, June 1, 2014
Deputy Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Ziyad Abu Ein: "Who else has elevated the cause of the Palestinian prisoners other than President Mahmoud Abbas? All the laws, the tenfold increase of the budget of the Ministry of Prisoners' [Affairs] - [all this] was done during the tenure of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and according to the wishes of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas...
If we go back to the source, which is the PLO, which will take care of the [prisoner] issue... we eliminate the international pressure and the attempts to tamper with this issue, so sensitive and holy to our Palestinian people. The [Palestinian] leadership wants to keep this holy issue away from the influence of the donor countries, the interference of the donor countries, and the occasional negative influence of the donor countries, by giving it [the prisoner issue] its holiness and assigning it to the leadership of the struggle of our Palestinian people. Who is the leadership of the struggle of our Palestinian people? The PLO... All the authority, all the laws, the budget, the officials and staff will be a part of the Prisoners and Released Prisoners' Authority, which will belong to the PLO, to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and to the Executive Committee of the PLO."
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New measure will negate US Congress “attempt to blackmail the PA;” “prisoners 'would not feel any change'” 
Source: Al-Ayyam, June 1, 2014
Al-Ayyam reporting on the PA decision to transfer handling of prisoners' salaries to the PLO
     "The new situation would make possible the provision of new resources to support prisoners' issues, without allowing forces of the US Congress or some European parliaments to attempt to blackmail the PA or to take steps against it.' Furthermore, these sources predicted that prisoners "would not feel any change," but rather improvement of their situation would be the case, as the PA would be able "to act towards meeting their demands and defending their rights more efficiently and flexibly."
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PA attempts to avoid donor pressure by transferring the responsibility for paying monthly prisoner salaries of 27 mill shekels from the PA to the PLO 
Source: Wattan News Agency, May 31, 2014
     "The decision [to transfer the payments from the PA to the PLO] is the PA's response to Israeli pressure to which it has been subjected for a long time, specifically, non-stop criticism of the [PA's] support of the prisoners, which it [Israel] considers 'support of terrorism,' as well as the protests Israel has voiced through the media against the great honor the released prisoners receive at the reception in the Palestinian Presidential Headquarters...
Deputy Minister of Prisoners' Affairs [Abu Ein] emphasized that the prisoners' and released prisoners' affairs portfolio 'will be transferred to the PLO leadership instead of remaining under [the authority of] a government of technocrats, and that this would also avoid the pressure being exerted on the PA by the donor countries, which oppose the transfer of their money to prisoners...'
On another issue, [Deputy Minister of Prisoners' Affairs] Abu Ein said that the [total sum] of the salaries of the released prisoners, who number over 5,000, 'exceeds 10 million shekels a month, a large part of which goes to people occupying senior positions in the private sector, including directors of banks, companies, non-governmental institutions and media institutions.' He added: 'the principle says that the government must employ people, and not pay salaries without results...'
Abu Ein said that the Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs transfers approximately 27 million shekels a month to the prisoners in the occupation prisons, to pay for salaries and expenses."
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