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PA and Fatah personalities
Issa Karake
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Mahmoud Abbas
Zakariya Al-Agha
Azzam Al-Ahmad
Mahmoud Al-Aloul
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Marwan Barghouti
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Mahmoud Al-Habbash
Amal Hamad
Rami Hamdallah
Atallah Hanna
PA Mufti Muhammad Hussein
Yusuf Ida'is
Hanna Issa
Issa Karake
Muhammad Al-Madani
Ibrahim Mudayris

Jamal Muhaisen

Nasser Al-Qidwa

Ahmed Qurei

Jibril Rajoub
Samir Al-Rifai
Sabri Saidam
Dalal Salameh
Nabil Shaath
Hussein Al-Sheikh
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Tawfiq Tirawi
Abbas Zaki
Issa Karake
Issa Karake - Former Director of the PLO Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs and former PA Minister of Prisoners' Affairs.
In 2014, Abbas changed the Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs, subordinate to the PA government, into the Supreme National Authority of Prisoners' Affairs, subordinate to the PLO. This was done to evade pressure from international donors over the PA's payment of salaries to terrorist prisoners. Instead of paying terrorist salaries out of the PA general budget, to which international donors send their funding, the new PLO institution pays the salaries and is responsible for prisoners' affairs. Karake was appointed head of the new Commission of Prisoners' Affairs.
In August 2018, Karake was deposed as head of the commission and replaced by Qadri Abu Bakr. Karake remains a member of the PA Parliament.
Article in Al-Monitor about firing of Karake as Head of PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs: Karake anticipated dismissal “for 18 months” 
Source: Al-Monitor, Aug. 9, 2018
Firing of Palestinian prisoner affairs minister sparks anger

Political activists, families of prisoners and former prisoners have reacted angrily to the dismissal of Prisoner Affairs Minister Issa Qaraqe, who was replaced by fellow former prisoner Qadri Abu Bakr. In addition, the entire Prisoner’s Affairs Committee, which is headed by the minister, was also replaced. President Mahmoud Abbas ordered the changes in a presidential decree signed Aug. 2.
The reaction to Qaraqe's replacement ranged from assumptions that Abbas was pushing aside a minister he disliked to the change being a regular rotation at a ministry. The Prisoner’s Affairs Committee sets policies dealing with prisoners' issues and the concerns of their families.
Hamas and left-wing leaders issued strong statements criticizing Abbas' move and praising Qaraqe. They noted that Qaraqe had opposed payment cut-offs to Gaza prisoners and that he was a dedicated hard worker who always made himself accessible to prisoner families. Others simply felt the decision was long in coming and that such a change at the top of an important ministry was business as usual.
...
Qaraqe, who had been appointed to head the Prisoner’s Affairs Committee on Aug. 24, 2014, had previously not spoken to the media about his dismissal until opening up to Al-Monitor in an exclusive interview.
“I was not surprised by the decision,” Qaraqe said. “I had been expecting this for 18 months. It started when [imprisoned Fatah member] Marwan Barghouti called for a hunger strike in April 2017. After that, things started to happen that led me to believe that there was an attempt to push me out of my position.”

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Qadri Abu Bakr appointed as head of PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, replacing Issa Karake, due to internal Palestinian politics 
Source: Al-Araby Al-Jadeed (UK Arab news website), Aug. 3, 2018
Headline: "A presidential decision regarding the establishment of a committee to manage the [PLO] Commission of Palestinian Prisoners' Affairs"
   "Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has decided to establish a committee headed by Maj.-Gen. Qadri Abu Bakr to manage the [PLO] Commission of Prisoners' Affairs in place of Director of the Commission Issa Karake… Maj.-Gen. Qadri Abu Bakr told [the UK Arab news website] Al-Araby Al-Jadeed: 'Indeed I have received the presidential order, and on Sunday [Aug. 5, 2018] the transfer of the role in the PLO will be carried out.' [...] According to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed’s sources, there is an inclination to merge the Commission of Prisoners' Affairs with the [PA-funded] Prisoners’ Club in the framework of one institution. These two institutions are led by two senior Fatah officials and former prisoners, Issa Karake and Qadura Fares. The sources...  added: 'Karake and Fares have been harassed since the prisoners' [hunger] strike ended this past May (sic., May 2017). Heavy pressures have been applied to the Prisoners’ Club since August 2017 on the pretext that it supported the prisoners' strike, which was led by Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti...  Former Director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Karake yesterday (Thursday) published an article in which he hinted that the decision to fire him arises from him being accused of supporting the prisoners' strike.'"

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Abbas fires Issa Karake as head of PLO Prisoners’ Commission 
Source: Wattan (independent Palestinian news agency)‎, Aug. 2, 2018
Headline: “Reports on a presidential order regarding the dismissal of Karake from the [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs”
     “Media sources have reported that [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas has decided to dismiss Director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake from his position. The sources explained that the decision to dismiss Karake was made because of his criticism of the stopping of the payment of the salaries of some Palestinian prisoners in the occupation’s prison. Spokesman of the Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Hassan Abd Rabbo told the [independent Palestinian] news agency Wattan that no order or decision regarding his dismissal has reached Minister (sic., Director) Karake, even though he has heard the news in the media outlets.”
Abbas’ decision to replace Karake as Head of Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs 
Source: WAFA, official PA news agency, Aug. 2, 2018
Headline: “Presidential decision on establishing a committee to manage the Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs led by Qadri Abu Bakr”

“[PA] President of the State of Palestine and Chairman of the PLO Executive Committee Mahmoud Abbas has decided to establish a committee to manage the [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs led by Qadri Abu Bakr.
The members of the committee are Jamal Huweil, Abd Al-Fattah Doleh, Fadwa Al-Abbasi, Muhammad Hassan Jabarin, Salim Al-Zre’i, Sharif Atallah, Abdallah Abu Samhadana, and Ahmed Al-Sabah.”
Karake fired for supporting the hunger strike of Palestinians imprisoned in Israel, according to independent Palestinian news website 
Source: Fatah Voice, independent Palestinian news website, Aug. 2, 2018
Headline: “Following Rajoub’s threats – Issa Karake opens fire on ‘Abbas’ Authority’: I won’t apologize”

“Director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake published a fiery article in which he opened fire implicitly and explicitly at what was done against the prisoners in the occupation’s prison, and at the exploitation of the unlimited [prisoners’] hunger strike [in April 2017]. He emphasized that he will not apologize to anyone other than prisoner Fadi Abu Aita (i .e., reported to have suffered brain damage from the hunger strike) and other prisoners.
The fiery article was published several days after member of [Mahmoud] Abbas’ [Fatah] Central Committee, Jibril Rajoub, threatened to destroy the [PA-funded] Prisoners’ Club and the [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, because he was not interviewed in the documentary film on the famous hunger strike in the Nafha Prison in 1980. Rajoub threatened to dismiss [Karake] from his post and close the commission.

News items from several sources preceded this, which emphasized that Karake would be fired from his post due to his position [supporting] the unlimited hunger strike that the prisoners in the occupation’s prisons waged over a year ago led by prisoner Marwan Barghouti (i.e., terrorist who orchestrated three attacks in which 5 were murdered), which Abbas’ Palestinian Authority did all that was within its power to impede. This is in addition to his position against the sanctions that were imposed on the prisoners of Gaza and the cutting of their salaries (sic., several Hamas prisoners from Gaza had their salaries stopped, not cut).”
PLO official accuses Israeli PM of supporting terror: “Israel officially supports the war crimes against the Palestinians, gives murderers immunity and support” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 30, 2018
Headline: “Karake: The fact that Netanyahu welcomed the murderer of the two Jordanians and defended the execution of Al-Sharif encourages the murder of Palestinians and Arabs”

“Director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake said that the fact that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met and embraced Ziv, the murderer of the two Jordanian Martyrs (Shahids) who were murdered at the Israeli embassy in Amman (i.e., an Israeli security guard who was stabbed by a terrorist and shot him, also hitting a bystander by accident – see note below), and stood up for the murderer of Martyr Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sharif (i.e., terrorist, stabbed 1 with an accomplice), Elor Azaria is part of the support system for organized crime and incessant Israeli state terror against the Palestinian and Arab people.
Karake said that Israel officially supports the war crimes against the Palestinians, gives murderers immunity and support, and does not open fair criminal investigations against them, but rather acts to glorify them and gives them light sentences or pardons them…
Karake said that the extremist Jewish terror organizations and the gangs of settlers receive funding, support, licensing, and protection from the government of Israel.
He explained that even as immunity is given to the Israeli murderers, the government of Israel… incites against the PA due to the social aid to the families of the Martyrs and prisoners.
(i.e., the salaries the PA pays to terrorists in prison –Ed.)”
PLO holds event for prisoners’ kids, PLO official: Hundreds of prisoners got academic degrees in prison  
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 24, 2018
Headline: “Ramallah and El-Bireh: Honoring the children of the prisoners who passed the matriculation exams”
     “Yesterday afternoon [July 23, 2018], the [PLO] Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs and the [PA-funded] Prisoners’ Club, in partnership with the Ramallah and El-Bireh district and the Fatah Movement branch, organized a ceremony honoring the children of the prisoners who passed the matriculation exams… [Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa] Karake said that 900 prisoners registered this year for the matriculation exams, in addition to more than 1,000 prisoners who joined bachelor’s degree [studies], and in this way turned the occupation’s prisons into schools and universities. Karake said that the continuation of the academic and cultural activity in the occupation’s prisons is part of the activity of the struggle, despite the arbitrary laws that the occupation authorities are imposing against the prisoners and the severe steps that they are taking against them.”

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PLO official: Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners are getting academic degrees in Israeli prisons 
Source: Official Twitter account of Fatah, July 23, 2018
Official PA TV News, on the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs honoring the Palestinian prisoners children who excelled in the high school matriculation exams

Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake: “This year, 900 prisoners in the prisons have also begun to take the matriculation exams, and more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners are registered in the Palestinian universities for a bachelor’s degree. In other words, the prisons – despite the difficult conditions – have become universities and schools.”
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“More than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners are registered in the Palestinian universities for a bachelor’s degree,” says PLO official 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, July 23, 2018

Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake:
“This year, 900 prisoners in the prisons have also begun to take the matriculation exams, and more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners are registered in the Palestinian universities for a bachelor’s degree. In other words, the prisons – despite the difficult conditions – have become universities and schools.”
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According to the Israeli law, security prisoners are not allowed to participate in academic degree courses.
PLO official to UN: “the Israeli violations against the prisoners (i.e. law to deduct tax money in the amount PA pays terrorists)…are reaching the level of war crimes” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 20, 2018
Headline: "Karake: The occupation state is legitimizing the war crimes against the prisoners"

"Director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake gave his testimony before the UN committee to investigate the Israeli operations that are violating our people’s human rights, and this was during a meeting with it in the capital of Jordan, Amman, after the occupation authorities prevented it from entering the occupied territories.

Karake said in his testimony that the Israeli violations against the prisoners and detainees are reaching the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity, which are being committed under the cover of a series of racist and arbitrary legislations and laws that are in contradiction of human rights and international and humanitarian law…
Karake also said in his testimony: 'The Israeli goal behind these laws is to consider the struggle and resistance of the Palestinian people - including the prisoners, Martyrs (Shahids), and wounded - as terror, and to steal from them their legal status as legitimate fighters for freedom, dignity, and independence.'
He added: 'The law to confiscate Palestinian tax money under the pretext of the aid to the families of the prisoners, the Martyrs, and the wounded, that the Israeli Parliament ratified on July 3, 2018 (sic. July 2, 2018), comes as part of the attack against the legitimacy of the prisoners' national struggle against the occupation, and as part of the ongoing system of oppression that exists under the cover of the law against the prisoners in the prisons."
PA, PLO spokesmen reject Israel’s terror salaries law, salaries to prisoners, Martyrs’ families and wounded will continue 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 10, 2018
     “At a press conference dealing with the occupation’s decision to deduct the prisoners’ allowances (mukhassasat) from the tax money (see note below –Ed.) and the administrative prisoners’ strike, a number of [Palestinian] spokesmen emphasized the need to oppose the Israeli ‘law’ that violates all of the international agreements, and the need to support the administrative prisoners who are hunger striking. PLO Executive Committee member [and Secretary-General of the Palestinian Liberation Front] Wasel Abu Yusuf said at the press conference that was held yesterday [July 8, 2018] in Ramallah at the initiative of the [PLO] Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs, the [PA-funded] Prisoners’ Club, and the factions of national activity: ‘The leadership, led by [PA] President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas, has emphasized its rejection of decisions that the Israeli government has made recently, and of the bills that the Israeli Parliament ratified regarding the deduction of amounts from our people’s money against what is paid to the families of the Martyrs (Shahids) and the prisoners.’
Abu Yusuf emphasized that they will continue to pay the allowances of the prisoners, the Martyrs’ families, and the wounded as usual, while pointing out the president’s statements at the Fatah Movement Central Council meeting yesterday (Sunday): ‘No one has the right to interfere in this matter; these are our Martyrs, our wounded, and our prisoners, and we will continue to pay them.’"
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Senior PLO official: Killing Israelis is not “terror”; it’s not “criminal”- it’s “legitimate” 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, July 3, 2018

Official PA TV program 'The Content of the News'

Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake: "We reject these laws (i.e., to deduct terrorist salaries from PA tax money)... We continue to stand by the families of the prisoners (i.e., terrorists), the Martyrs (i.e., terrorists), and the wounded. This is part of the Palestinian national struggle... We reject labeling them ‘criminals’ and ‘terrorists.’ Israel wants to turn the entire struggle of the Palestinian people into ‘terrorism.’ It wants to remove the legitimacy of our struggle against the occupation."
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PLO official vows to continue terrorist salaries 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, June 27, 2018

Official PA TV News, on an Israeli bill to deduct the amount the PA pays in terror salaries from the tax money Israel collects for the PA, telephone interview with Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake

Official PA TV host:
"Israel is looting the Palestinian people’s money, this time through laws that it legislated today..."
Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake: "This is clear theft and piracy in broad daylight... Israel strives not only to hold the money on the pretext of [PA] support for the families of the prisoners and the Martyrs - it wants to define the Palestinian people’s entire struggle as a 'crime' and those who have resisted the occupation as 'criminals.' This is the resistance of our Palestinian people, which is guaranteed by the international and humanitarian laws...
We will continue despite the pressures, threats, and blackmail.  We will continue to take care of and help the families of our prisoners and our Martyrs, we won't abandon them."
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PA, PLO officials and foreign diplomats hold Ramadan breakfast dinner with prisoners’ families 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, June 6, 2018
Official PA TV News, on an official meal breaking the Ramadan fast held by the PLO for ambassadors and consuls as well as prisoners’ families in Ramallah

Official PA TV newsreader: “[PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas’] Advisor on Foreign Affairs Nabil Shaath emphasized that the leadership considers the prisoners’ cause as having top priority and asked the international community to pressure Israel to release them. This was said during the [Ramadan] fast breaking meal that the [PLO] Department for Negotiation Affairs organized in cooperation with the [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, and in the presence of ambassadors and consuls from throughout the world and prisoners’ families in Ramallah.”

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Head of PLO prisoners’ commission accuses Israel of neglecting Palestinian prisoners’ medical needs  
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 31, 2018
Headline: “During a visit to released [prisoners] and prisoners’ families in Qalqilya – Karake: ‘There is an increase in the cases of cancer among the prisoners; Abd Al-Qader’s condition is very serious’”
      “Director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake... indicated that the rate of incidence of malignant cancerous diseases is rising in the prisons, which raises concern regarding the prisoners’ lives and health. This indicates that the prisons do not have the necessary things in terms of health, as routine checks are not conducted for the prisoners, which causes diseases to spread in their bodies and worsen to a dangerous situation. He also said that there are over 30 cases of cancer or malignant growths among the prisoners, in addition to the incidence of serious chronic diseases such as paralysis, disability , critical injuries, liver, kidney, and heart diseases, diseases of the spinal cord, lungs, and the like.”

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Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs demands 10% of seats on PLO legislative body be allocated for prisoners and released prisoners 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 4, 2018
Headline: “Karake demanded to allocate 10% of the [Palestinian] National Council seats to prisoners and released prisoners"
      "Director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake yesterday [May 3, 2018] demanded in his speech before the [Palestinian] National Council (i.e., the PLO legislative body) - whose 23rd session took place in Ramallah - to allocate 10% of the council seats to prisoners and released prisoners in order to emphasize the importance of the prisoners' issue through its symbols who have served long years in the occupation's prisons."
Fatah, PA and PLO hold ceremony in Qalqilya commemorating arch-terrorist Abu-Jihad, honor prisoners serving life sentences  
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Apr. 27, 2018
      “The Qalqilya branch of the Fatah Movement, the [PLO] Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs, and the [PA-funded] Prisoners’ Club held a ceremony for Palestinian Prisoner’s Day and the anniversary of the death as a Martyr (Shahid) of Prince of Martyrs [Khalil Al-Wazir] Abu Jihad (i.e., terrorist, responsible for murder of 125) under the title The First Bullet and the First Stone, which was held in the hall of the Fatah branch office in Qalqilya...
The district governor emphasized the centrality of the prisoners’ cause for the Palestinian people, and praised their resolve and willpower that produce victory and defiance against the impossible. He also noted that the just prisoners’ cause is the central matter on our Palestinian leadership’s agenda, due to its sanctity and honor. In addition, he said: ‘The fact that Prisoner’s Day is on April 17, together with the anniversary of the death as a Martyr of Prince of Martyrs Khalil Al-Wazir, has added an additional national dimension to this pure cause.’ … At the end of the ceremony, tribute was paid to the prisoners from the district who are serving life sentences, as well as the prisoners of the [PA] security establishment.”
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PLO, PA and Fatah hold “vigil of solidarity and loyalty” for terrorist serving life sentence 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Apr. 19, 2018
Headline: “Bethlehem: Vigil of solidarity with prisoner living-Martyr Muhammad Al-Tous”
     “The [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, the [PA-funded] Prisoners’ Club, the Hebron and Bethlehem branches of the Fatah Movement, and the Released Prisoners’ Union held a vigil of solidarity and loyalty for the most veteran prisoner of the Bethlehem district Muhammad Al-Tous ‘Abu Shadi’ (i.e., terrorist, responsible for numerous lethal attacks), who was sentenced to life and has been serving 33 years in the occupation’s prisons. The vigil was held in his home village of Jab’a, in the presence of [Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa] Karake, Bethlehem District Governor Jibril Al-Bakri, the secretaries of the Bethlehem and Hebron branches, Fatah Movement members, and the families of the prisoners and Martyrs (Shahids)... The participants said that the standing by prisoner Al-Tous is a type of blessing of love, loyalty, and appreciation to the prisoners who are serving the most years of imprisonment in the world and still constitute symbols of human freedom and justice, and also to the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, independence, a state, and complete freedom.”

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Oped by PLO official: US Ambassador Friedman is “the most loyal propagandist of the occupation, the settlers, and the criminals” for demanding PA condemn terror attacks 
Source: Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, Mar. 21, 2018
Excerpt of op-ed by Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake

Headline: "The American ambassador in Tel Aviv condemns!"

"American Ambassador in Tel Aviv David Friedman condemned the fact that the PA did not condemn the operations (i.e., terror attacks) against the settlers. He made this condemnation while wearing a settler hat and carrying a gun and hoe, after registering as a member of the price tag and hilltop youth settler organizations, which kidnapped and burned Martyr (Shahid) Muhammad Abu Khdeir and the Dawabsheh family (sic., the attacks referred to were not committed by any organizations; see notes below –Ed.).
The American ambassador is the most loyal propagandist of the occupation, the settlers, and the criminals. He does not think about the Palestinians killed as [in his eyes] our dead are not living creatures. Only the Israelis are good and they have priority among the creations. We are the lowly Arabs . The Israelis' blood is different and their souls are different, and therefore they must be given everything. The land, the promise, and the skies belong to them. They are allowed to kill, commit crimes, occupy another people, and remain alive.
Mr. Ambassador… the aggressor, foreigner, and murderer does not become the victim who is in need of your condemnation and tears…

Over 1000 Palestinian prisoners are taking academic courses, says PLO official  
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 19, 2018
Headline: “Graduation ceremony for a group of prisoners who completed a course in journalistic editing”
       “The [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, together with the [Palestinian] Journalists’Syndicate, held a graduation ceremony yesterday [March 18, 2018] for a group of prisoners from Nafha Prison who completed a course in journalistic editing under the headline Prisoner Martyr (Shahid) Yasser Hamdouni Course. (Hamdouni is a terrorist who participated in murder of 1.) Director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’Affairs Issa Karake and District Governor of Ramallah and El-Bireh Dr. Laila Ghannam were present at the ceremony... [Karake] noted: ‘There are over 1,000 prisoners who are studying at a university from within their prison, and this is proof that our prisoners are advocates of thought and freedom, and not terrorists as the Israeli terrorists claim.’”

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