Fatah spokesman ensures terrorists and murderers will be paid: “Our heroic prisoners… will remain the diamond in the crown”
Official Palestinian Authority TV - Feb. 21, 2019


Official PA TV program
Talk of the Hour

Fatah Revolutionary Council member and official Fatah Spokesman Osama Al-Qawasmi: “All of the blessings to our heroic prisoners behind the occupation’s bars, who have made the sacrifice of their freedom and their separation from their children, their wives, their homes, and the alleyways of the Old City of Nablus, Bethlehem, Hebron, Jerusalem, and Gaza for our freedom. Israel wants us to punish our brave prisoners and our Martyrs for their legitimate struggle for freedom and independence. It wants us to deliver a blow to the national identity with our own hands… The prisoners, the Martyrs, and their families – we have not abandoned them since 1965 and they will remain the diamond in the crown, the headline of a legitimate struggle, and the headline of our honor. Therefore, this lion [PA President Mahmoud Abbas] who is carrying out Ribat (i.e., religious conflict/war over land claimed to be Islamic) in his tent, in the Muqata’a (i.e., the PA headquarters), is emphasizing once again that the oath is an oath, that the promise is a promise - a promise to the Martyrs, the promise to the First Bullet and the First Stone (i.e., reference to terrorist Abu Jihad) and the pen that signs on behalf of Palestine, is that we cannot sell our Martyrs and prisoners or put them on the table of political baseness in the temple of Zionism, the Americans, and [US President Donald] Trump… We emphasize that we are not afraid of anything at all. We are students of freedom and independence, and this money is our money. Israel receives payment in return for collecting [the tax money] on the borders (sic., Israel is not paid for this) until the State of Palestine has control over the crossings. However, the fact that Israel is deducting part of the money of the families of the Martyrs and prisoners – that is unacceptable. We are saying it on behalf of the Fatah Movement – if a single dollar is left in our hands, we will pay it to the families of the Martyrs and to the prisoners. It is illogical that they will say that their murderers are innocent and our Martyrs are defined as criminals, as [Palestinian poet] Samih Al-Qasim said. No, our Martyrs are heroes and our prisoners are heroes. We will remain morally, nationally, and politically obligated to their families, who are deprived of the most precious thing in the world - fatherhood - and we won’t agree to negotiate about this matter. President Mahmoud Abbas has determined this matter at the White House and in all of the other meetings. Therefore Israel needs to examine who is the real criminal, the murderer, soldier [Elor Azaria] who murdered [Abd Al-Fattah] Al-Sharif (i.e., terrorist, wounded 1 with an accomplice) is honored with decorations (sic., Azaria was imprisoned, not honored), the one who murdered Al-Sharif in cold blood. [The soldiers] who murdered thousands of members of the Palestinian people and who murdered children on Gaza’s borders [with Israel] – they applaud them and honor them. But our families, they want to persecute us until we punish them. This will not come to be, and will definitely not occur.”
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Fatah’s spokesman made the comments after Israel announced it would deduct from PA tax money according to Israel’s Anti-"Pay for Slay" Law
- Israeli law stating that the PA payments to terrorists and the families of dead terrorists is a financial incentive to terror. The law instructs the state to deduct and freeze the amount of money the PA pays in salaries to imprisoned terrorists and families of "Martyrs" from the tax money Israel collects for the PA. Should the PA stop these payments for a full year, the Israeli government would have the option of giving all or part of the frozen money to the PA.
The law was enacted by the Israeli Parliament on July 2, 2018, and its first implementation was approved by Israel's Security Cabinet on Feb. 17, 2019, when it decided to withhold 502,697,000 Israeli shekels (approximately $138 million) from the PA. In response, the PA announced it would not accept any of the tax money collected by Israel unless it also included the frozen amount.
During the initial parliamentary vote in 2018, the law's sponsor Avi Dichter said: “The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee received much help in its deliberations... from Palestinian Media Watch who provided us with authentic data that enabled productive and professional deliberations, nuances that are very difficult to achieve without precise data.” [Israeli Parliament website, July 2, 2018]