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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.

PA daily clarifies terms of terrorists' salaries 
Source: Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 6, 2014
     “It should be noted that a [previous] agreement exists, signed in 2011 with former prime minister Dr. Salam Fayyad, which states that priority must be given to [paying] the salaries of the Martyrs’ (Shahids’) immediate families in the following manner: A Martyr’s salary is 1,400 shekels, with an addition of 400 for his wife and 200 for his son or daughter, as well as an addition of 300 shekels for [residents] of Jerusalem and the interior (i.e., Israel). In addition, [families] of Martyrs in the diaspora are to receive a salary of 350 dollars, with an addition of 100 [dollars] for [the] wife and 50 for [the] son or daughter.”
PA-funded Prisoners' Club: Israelis taught international donors everything about PA salaries for prisoners 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Feb. 17, 2014
Chairman of the Prisoners' Club, Qadura Fares:
     "Our second message is directed to the EU, international organizations and to the UN. They know by heart what the Israelis taught them. This is a disgrace. The Israelis (i.e., PMW reports) taught them and explained to them that the PA pays such and such canteen [amount] and pays such and such a salary to a prisoner [imprisoned] four years... When we meet with European, American or UN officials they question us. They know the stuff by heart because the Israelis taught them and explained to them that the PA supports -- according to Liberman's and Netanyahu's claims -- so-called "terrorists"... Minister [of Prisoners' Affairs] Issa Karake remembers that the British Minister of [International Relations and] Cooperation asked us about the Dadash company -- the Dadash company that operates the canteens. Meaning, they know all these facts by heart."
Click to view video
PA allocates an additional $46 million for terrorists in 2014 
Source: Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 6, 2014
     "[PA] Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Karake said that it has been decided that the budget for the fifth regulation [of the Prisoners' Law] approved by the government will be set this coming April [2014]. [The fifth regulation] completes the remaining implementing regulations of the Prisoners' Law, and is concerned with improving conditions for released [prisoners]. This will be done as an appendix to the [general] budget, so its implementation will begin this year and [apply] retroactively.
Karake noted that the government has acknowledged the importance of the regulation and the need to implement it according to the rules. However, due to the large budget deficit and the PA's financial situation, establishing the budget, which has been estimated at 160 million shekels a year, has been postponed until April. [He added that] a ministerial committee has been appointed to prepare the appendix to the budget.
Karake emphasized that this regulation will contribute considerably to solving many problems that prisoners face after their release... Likewise, he noted that the government has made the prisoners' issue one of its priorities and is investing all its efforts in easing their suffering given what is available (i.e., availability of funds).
Karake thanked the President [Abbas] and the Prime Minister [Hamdallah] for their great efforts and for their [accepting] responsibility for the prisoners' cause, whether at a political or social level, or at the livelihood level. On another matter, Karake said that the government has approved a regulation for exempting released prisoners who have served more than 20 years in occupation prisons from paying customs duty, as well as a regulation for covering the costs of fertility [treatments] for released prisoners who are suffering from fertility problems."
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PA Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs explains prisoners’ salaries and benefits to French Consul 
Source: Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 22, 2014
     “[PA] Minister of Prisoners’ [Affairs] Issa Karake brought Consul General of France Herve Magro up to date about the prisoners’ and detainees’ suffering, which is caused by the occupation’s policy…
Regarding Ministry services provided to the prisoners, Karake added that the Ministry is working on developing the services to the detainees, which begin with legal defense in the Israeli occupation courts, continue with providing canteen [money] and salaries and with providing medical services to prisoners in prison and after their release, in addition to training and employing them.”
PA funds fertility treatments for prisoners 
Source: Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 10, 2014
     “During its weekly meeting held yesterday [Jan. 9, 2014], chaired by Prime Minister Dr. Rami Hamdallah… the government decided to make the Ministry for Prisoners’ [Affairs], the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Finance responsible for coordinating between them the aid to prisoners and released prisoners who are having trouble producing offspring.”
PA pays released prisoners $2,000 per year of imprisonment 
Source: Al-Ayyam, Dec. 30, 2013
     “The [Palestinian] Authority pays each released prisoner who was released in the previous phases between 40 to 60 thousand dollars, meaning, approximately 2,000 dollars for each year [of imprisonment], in order to improve his financial situation, and they are considered [part] of the National Security Forces.
However, these prisoners and detainees, who spent long years in the occupation prisons, undergo no social [rehabilitation] program or guidance program, because the prisoner is seen as a hero by society.
Chairman of the Prisoners’ Club Qadura Fares said: ‘Psychological and social rehabilitation is done for those who were imprisoned for theft and murder issues.’
He added: ‘However, in the case of [security] prisoners, some [people ] reject this [rehabilitation program] because of the prisoner’s holiness and importance in the eyes of society.’”
From Agence France-Presse

Note: In August 2013, Israel agreed to release 104 Palestinian terrorists from prison, which was the PA's precondition for renewing peace talks. The terrorists were released in stages. The first group of 26 was released on Aug. 13, 2013. The second group of 26 was released on Oct. 30, 2013. The third group of 26 was released on Dec. 30, 2013.
Relatives of terrorists receive university scholarships 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Dec. 25, 2013
PA TV program Palestine this Morning talked to Director of the Al-Quds Open University’s Tulkarem branch Ziyad Al-Tanni about scholarships given by the university to certain groups.
Ziyad Al-Tanni: “There are many scholarships. We can’t mention them all in detail at this time. But there is the Fellowship scholarship. There is the scholarship for a son, daughter and wife of a prisoner and a Martyr (Shahid). There is a scholarship for disabled, a scholarship for political prisoners, the Foundation’s scholarship, the President’s scholarship, the Board of Trustee’s scholarship. We have more than 20 [scholarships.] And the truth is that in the Tulkarem branch, the [total sum of] students’ scholarships amounts to more than 200,000 dinars (approximately 282,000 US dollars) – in the Tulkarem branch. And at the entire university level the [total sum] amounts to more than 3 million dinars (approximately 4.24 million US dollars) a year, and may amount to more than 4 million dinars (5.65 million US dollars) a year.”
Fatah official: 85% of donor money goes toward PA salaries 
Source: Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 25, 2013
     “Fatah Central Committee member and Chairman of the Arab American University Board of Trustees Muhammad Shtayyeh gave MBA students a lecture on ‘Development in Palestine in the Shadow of Occupation’… He noted that the PA is currently paying the salaries of 172,000 civil servants and that to date, 23 billion dollars have arrived from donor states, 85% of which were used to pay salaries. 5 billion dollars of these funds were used to fund non-governmental organizations.”
EU donates €11 million for PA salaries and pensions 
Source: Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 6, 2013
Headline: “The European Union grants 11 million euros to pay [PA] salaries and pensions”
     “Yesterday [Dec. 5, 2013] the European Union donated approximately 11 million euros to pay the November salaries and pensions of approximately 71,000 Palestinian government employees and pensioners in the [West] Bank and the Gaza Strip.
The Office of the European Union Representative noted in a press release that this contribution will be transferred through the European Commission’s PEGASE mechanism, by the European Union (10 million euros) and the Government of the Netherlands (1 million euros, earmarked for the PA Justice sector salaries).”
From WAFA, official PA news agency
Laws to help released prisoners “will be implemented according to the financial capabilities of the PA” 
Source: Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 5, 2013
Headline: “Karake: We are striving to set regulations for [the benefit of] released prisoners and the prisoners in prison”
     “[PA] Minister of Prisoners’ [Affairs] Issa Karake disclosed that the compilation of regulations approved by the government over the last four years (the most recent being a regulation concerning released prisoners)... were completed according to legal principles and procedures and will be implemented according to the financial capabilities of the [Palestinian] Authority. Karake noted that caring for prisoners and their families is a top priority in the Ministry of Prisoners’ [Affairs] and in the government, in spite of the financial and economic difficulties they face. He added that in spite of the present challenges, important interest in the prisoners' situation has been developing, and he referred to a proposal to be presented to the government regarding [the establishment of] a fund aimed at obtaining assistance for prisoners and their families...
Karake was speaking during his visit with a number of families of veteran prisoners in the village of Qatanna, in the Jerusalem district...
Karake and his delegation visited the family of brother prisoners 53-year-old Abd Al-Jawad Yusuf Shamasneh and 47-year-old Muhammad Yusuf Shamasneh, who in 1993 were sentenced to three life sentences plus twenty years and are imprisoned in the Nafha prison. They are both among the prisoners who are to be released in the next phases.”

Note: In August 2013, Israel agreed to release 104 Palestinian terrorists from prison, which was the PA's precondition for renewing peace talks. The terrorists were released in stages. The first group of 26 was released on Aug. 13, 2013. The second group of 26 was released on Oct. 30, 2013. The third group of 26 was released on Dec. 30, 2013.
For descriptions of the terrorists, click "full article" below.
PA exempts released prisoners from paying university tuition and medical insurance 
Source: Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 4, 2013
     “[At] its weekly meeting, convened yesterday [Dec. 3, 2013] in Ramallah [and] chaired by Prime Minister Dr. Rami Hamdallah, the [PA] government … approved the proposed revised regulation for exempting released prisoners from [paying] school and university tuition, [and from paying] medical insurance and training course fees, to show appreciation of their [the prisoners’] struggle and as part of the government’s pledge to provide our brave prisoners and their families with a dignified life.”
PA pays unemployed prisoners a salary of 7.5 million shekels a month 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Dec. 2, 2013
PA Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Karake: "[Unemployment] is a problem for thousands of male and female prisoners... The law approved by the Palestinian Parliament in 2004 determined that a male prisoner who spends more than 5 years and a female prisoner who spends more than 3 years [in prison] - in case they cannot find a job - can receive the fixed monetary allowance until they find a job. This applies of course to thousands of released prisoners... The maximum amount of the allowance is around 2,000 shekels... The fixed salary is not a loan... This is a salary. True, it's low, but I'll give you a number: 7.5 million shekels (~ $2.1 M.) a month is what we will pay to unemployed released prisoners. 7.5 million shekels every month."

Note: PA minimum wage is 1,450 shekels ($414) a month. The 2,000 shekels ($571) for released prisoners is 38% higher than the minimum wage.
PA PM meets with released murderers, promises to provide for “dignified lives” 
Source: Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 20, 2013
     “[PA] Prime Minister Dr. Rami Hamdallah met in the Prime Minister’s residence with prisoners from the Ramallah area, who were released in the second phase [of prisoner releases in 2013]. The meeting was attended by Minister of Prisoners’ [Affairs] Issa Karake and released prisoners Rafe’ Karajeh, Muhammad Nasr, Asrar Samrin, Ismat Mansour and Musa Qar’an… [Hamdallah] explained that the government would devote everything it could in order to provide dignified lives for the released [prisoners], despite the great financial difficulties and political challenges facing the Palestinian people, and he sent greetings to all male and female prisoners in the occupation prisons.”

Note: Rafe’ Karajeh and Muhammad Nasr murdered reserve soldier Aharon Avidar in a Ramallah market in February 1985. They were each serving life sentences, but were released in October 2013 among 104 prisoners whom Israel agreed to release to fulfill the PA's precondition for renewing negotiations.
Asrar Samrin was serving a life sentence for the murder of Israeli citizen Tzvi Klein (Dec. 3,1991), but was released in October 2013 as one of 104 terrorists whom Israel agreed to release to fulfill the PA's precondition for renewing negotiations.
Ismat Mansour assisted in the kidnapping and murder of Israeli civilian Haim Mizrahi (Oct. 23, 1993). He was serving 22 years in prison, but was released in October 2013 as one of 104 terrorists whom Israel agreed to release to fulfill the PA's precondition for renewing negotiations.
Musa Qar’an drove terrorist Asrar Samrin to the place where he murdered Israeli citizen Tzvi Klein (Dec. 3, 1991). Qar’an was serving 28 years in prison, but was released in October 2013 as one of 104 terrorists whom Israel agreed to release to fulfill the PA's precondition for renewing negotiations.
Prisoners received small salaries and were exempt from certain payments under Yasser Arafat 
Source: Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 12, 2013
Headline: “Prisoners’ families: ‘President Arafat’s decisions played a role in supporting the prisoner movement’”
     “Regarding memories about President Arafat’s unique positions regarding the prisoners’ cause, citizen [and] mother of Ibrahim Baroud, a member of the Prisoners’ Families Committee, said that she cannot forget his [Arafat’s] words, his decisions, and his directives in support of the prisoners’ rights. She stressed that at one of the meetings attended by a number of families, she asked about the veteran prisoners, and his answer was: ‘This has been left up to Israel’s good intentions.’ Later a question [was asked] about the prisoners’ salaries that at the time were [only] 300-500 shekels, even though the prisoners had a lot of expenses, and he said at the time: ‘Make a note, Kanafani’, meaning Marwan Kanafani (Arafat’s spokesman). Later one of the families asked to be exempted from having to pay electricity and water bills, and he answered: ‘Make a note, Kanafani.’ When the subject of canteen [expenses] that were paid for PLO prisoners only, was brought up, he answered: ‘Make a note, Kanafani: Payment without discrimination,’ and this has remained [the policy] until this very minute.’”
PA official: There are 52 veteran prisoners in Israeli prisons 
Source: Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 10, 2013
     “Head of the Statistics Department in the Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs, Abd Al-Nasser Farawneh… noted that the ‘veteran prisoners’ list includes prisoners from all Palestinian areas, as it includes 26 prisoners from the [West] Bank, 14 from areas occupied in 1948 (i.e., Israel), 9 prisoners from Jerusalem, and 3 prisoners from the Gaza Strip. Prisoner Karim Younes from the areas occupied in 1948, who has been imprisoned since January 6, 1983, is the most veteran prisoner.”

Note: Karim Younes – an Israeli Arab serving a 40-year sentence for kidnapping and killing an Israeli soldier in 1980. Originally sentenced to life in prison, but Israeli President Shimon Peres reduced his sentence in 2012.
PA Minister defends PA giving money to terrorists, they are "heroes" 
Source: Official PA TV Live, Nov. 4, 2013
PA Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Karake, at a rally under the auspices of Mahmoud Abbas in honor of released terrorists from Jenin:
     "The Europeans want their money that comes to us to remain clean -- not to go to families of those they claim to be terrorists. [They] need to renounce this occupation mentality. These [prisoners] are heroes, fedayyeen (self-sacrificing fighters), and fighters who fought so that we could live in dignity... These heroes, whom you are applauding, must live in dignity, so that we will continue to hold our heads high. We appreciate the people of the revolution and are proud of them."
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PA Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs: 1/3 of Palestinian prisoners belong to Fatah, 22% to Hamas 
Source: Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 3, 2013
     “In a report published by the Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs in the wake of 26 prisoners being released from occupation prisons, that focused on the prisoners’ cause and their numbers, it was noted that the total number of prisoners is 5,000 – one third belong to Fatah, 22% to Hamas, 10.3% to the Islamic Jihad, 7.3% to the Popular Front, and 2.2% to the Democratic Front.”

Note: PMW has recorded the percentages as they appear in the original Arabic, although they total only 75.1%, not 100%.
Palestinian Prisoners’ Club: Released prisoners don’t have to worry about livelihood  
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Oct. 30, 2013
PA TV program Palestine This Morning interviewed Chairman of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club Qadura Fares who spoke about the prisoners’ life after their release:
     “The prisoners who have already been released [from prison] live dignified lives, and those who left [prison] in the [prisoner] exchange deal also live dignified lives. The Palestinian people should be proud that it has such a law, appendixes to such a law and regulations… It’s difficult to compensate [prisoners] for 25 and 30 years [of prison time.] But a prisoner who is released after all those years doesn’t [have to] worry about his livelihood and marriage, he can continue his life in a way befitting a Palestinian fighter who gave a great deal for the Palestinian people.”
Released prisoner: Salaries for prisoners and their families must continue 
Source: Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 15, 2013
     “Released prisoner Tawfiq Abu Na’im said: ‘… In light of the difficult situation, and in spite of the wounds, we must be united in the common issues and put to use the mechanisms of [creating] solidarity with the prisoners and [obtaining] their release.’ In addition, he demanded to increase visits to their [the prisoners’] families during the [Festival of Sacrifice] holiday and stated the need to continue [paying] salaries (rawatib) to prisoners or released [prisoners] because the families rely mainly on these salaries.”

Note: Tawfiq Abu Na’im – convicted of kidnapping and murder and sentenced to on life sentence in May 1989. PMW has been unable to verify the specific circumstances of his crime. He was released in October 2011 in the Shalit exchange – in which the Israeli government agreed to release 1,027 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prison in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who had been held hostage by Hamas for more than 5 years.
PA: 52% of Palestinian prisoners in Israel are from Fatah, 10% from Hamas 
Source: Al-Ayyam, Oct. 13, 2013
Headline: “[There are] 5,000 prisoners in occupation prisons; 52% of them are from Fatah, and 10% Hamas”
     “A report issued by the [PA] Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs reported that there are 5,200 prisoners in 17 prisons, military camps, and detention centers, and that there has been an increase in arrests in recent years. From the beginning of this year [2013], 2,450 arrests have been recorded, among them 476 children and 49 female citizens.
The report explained that the number of prisoners from Fatah stands at 2,650, comprising 52% [of the total number of prisoners], among them 600 [PA] workers and military men employed by the Palestinian Authority institutions and forces; while the number of prisoners from Hamas stands at 1,100 comprising 10.4% (sic. The mistakes in calculating the percentages appear in the original Arabic. 1,100 prisoners make up 21.2% of the total number of prisoners –ed.), alongside 365 prisoners from the Popular Front, comprising 2.3%, and 250 prisoners from the other organizations and from prisoners languishing in interrogation centers, comprising 5%.”
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