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Abbas buys the support of Palestinians in Gaza one terrorist at a time
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Abbas buys the support of Palestinians in Gaza 
one terrorist at a time
  • The PA pays the salaries to all arrested Palestinian terrorists, irrespective of their terror group affiliations.
     
  • In some cases, the salaries paid by the PA to the terrorists are “higher than salaries of judges and doctors.” 
     
  • The PA admitted that in 2018 it paid at least 502 million shekels ($134.2 million) in salaries to terrorist prisoners and released prisoners.
By Maurice Hirsch, Adv. and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

While Palestinian Media Watch has comprehensively documented the Palestinian Authority's practice of paying financial rewards to terrorists imprisoned in Israeli jails, released terrorists, and the families of dead terrorists, it is not often that the terrorists themselves state the salaries as the reason why they politically support the PLO and the PA.

A recent article published in the official PA daily did just that. Khader Mahjez, a self-confessed terrorist arrested for being a founding member of Hamas, was quoted saying:

“The PLO did not agree with me about my affiliation with Hamas when I was one of its [Hamas’] founders, but when I was imprisoned on charges [of being affiliated with] Hamas, the PLO paid me compensation and did not ask me about my organizational affiliation.”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 25, 2019]

Marwan Abu Shariah, whose terrorist affiliation and actions are unclear, added that regardless of his affiliation, his father received money for him from the PLO when he was imprisoned. Abu Shariah is clearly impressed with the size of the PLO terrorist salaries, which he notes are “sometimes higher than salaries of judges and doctors”:

“I’m in favor of the PLO and concerned about its fate because when I was in prison my father went to a PLO ministry in Amman and received a monthly allowance from them for a married prisoner, without them asking him about my affiliation and my opinion of the PLO...
I’m in favor of the PLO because I discovered that all of the prisoners, and prime among them the prisoners from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, receive their salaries from the PLO, and that sometimes they are higher than salaries of judges and doctors. This is while their factions did not give them and their families even a tenth of what the PLO gave them, despite the difficulties and harassment that the PLO is dealing with on this matter. If not for these salaries, their families would have been abandoned to their fate. The same is true about the Martyrs (Shahids) and the wounded.’”

For almost the entirety of his tenure, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has been plagued with the rift between the Hamas controlled Gaza strip and the other areas under the control of the PA. These rare statements show that Abbas, using the PA’s payments to the terrorists, is buying the allegiance of the Palestinian residents in Gaza, one terrorist at a time.

Prior to these statements, PMW exposed that the PA’s Pay-for-Slay program is incentivizing terror and that Palestinians deliberately carry out attacks in order to receive the PA payments either for themselves or for their family should they “die as Martyrs” during their attack. Such deliberations are clear from the interrogation of terrorist Khaled Rajoub, who confessed that after accumulating considerable debts, he tried to kill Israeli soldiers, and hoped to be killed himself, “so that my children will receive a [PA] allowance and live happily”:

Interrogator: "Why did you decide to kill soldiers, and not someone else?"

Rajoub: "The best is to kill soldiers. That way they have guns and they'll shoot me and kill me. But if I'm not able to kill soldiers, I'll try settlers, guards - in other words any Israeli target - the important thing is that I will die and they will kill me, so that my children will receive a [PA] allowance and live happily."

Interrogator: "What did you want to achieve by killing soldiers or settlers, or any Israeli target?"

Rajoub: "So they'd shoot me and I'd die, and my children would receive an allowance."

Interrogator: "Are you still determined to do that?"

Rajoub: "Of course, 100%. I'm telling you - if you'll set me free, I'll do it again as soon as possible. I'll bring another car, and I'll run over [soldiers] at the first military post I see. I'll kill as many as possible, and they'll shoot me, and I'll die. There is no other solution."
[Israeli Police interrogation of terrorist Khaled Rajoub, Feb. 2, 2014]

In a different interrogation, terrorist Husseini Najjar, who had previously been imprisoned for terror activities and affiliation with Hamas and received payments from both the PA and Hamas, confessed that he planned a terror attack in order to be arrested so that he would reach a cumulative period of 5 years in prison and thus be entitled to a fixed monthly salary from the PA. He needed the money to pay for his wedding.

Interrogator: “Were you a former security prisoner in Israel and on what suspicions?”

Najjar: “Yes, I was a former security prisoner in Israel in 2008 until February 2013 on a case of membership and activity as part of a military cell affiliated with Hamas and planning to carry out a shooting attack and suicide bombing; there were others with me...”

Interrogator: “Did you turn to others in order to obtain the arrest allowance?”

Najjar: “... I would like to tell you that I had financial difficulties as I am engaged, and I was supposed to get married in September to Yasmin Ata Najjar from Hebron, and after the release I began to work at a shoe factory for the Zghayer family and my salary was 1,500 shekels, and I had a bank account and in it a sum of 45,000 shekels salary from the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs. I also received allowance money from Hamas from the Al-Nour Association - $8,000. I gathered a total of 70,000 shekels and bought an apartment whose value was 140,000 shekels together with my father-in-law, and he paid 70,000 shekels and doesn’t know the source of my money. I took from my maternal uncle a sum of 1,000 Jordan dinars, and I am still short by a sum of 30,000 shekels for the wedding in September.”

Interrogator: “What happened to you afterwards?”

Najjar: “Because of my difficult financial situation, as I told you, I decided to arIome kind of imaginary plan that the Israeli Security Agency [would think was real] so that I would be arrested and have more than 5 years in prison, so that I would receive a fixed salary as allowance money from the PA, and this was to cover the debts and complete [my savings] for the wedding. After I have 5 years, I will have a salary of approximately 4,000 shekels, and this sum for 3 years- in other words, it will be a sum of 135,000, and in this way I will cover my debts. In other words, this entire matter is a financial plan, and I made a plan to go into the Israeli prison and turned to a number of people from Hebron, Beit Fajjar, and Bethlehem, and I tricked them that there is a genuine military operation against Israel, and I tricked them that I have an intention to obtain weapons.”
[Israeli Police interrogation of terrorist Husseini Najjar, August 18, 2013]

It should be noted, that while Najjar attempted to mitigate his terror activities by claiming they were an “imaginary plan,” in practice he had turned to a number of other people suggesting that they form a terror cell to carry out the attack together.

Najjar is not the only terrorist to use the money paid to him by the PA to get on in life , get married, or buy or build a house. A recent decision of Israel’s Supreme Court [HCJ 974/19 Dakhadkha v Military Commander of the West Bank] revealed that Assem Barghouti, indicted for the murder of 4-day-old baby Amiad Ish-Ran and Israeli soldiers Staff Sergeant Yuval Mor Yosef and Sergeant Yosef Cohen, and the injury of numerous others, similarly used the money that he had accumulated during a previous prison term to build himself a house. Shortly after his arrest, PMW estimated that
the PA had paid Barghouti no less than 447,000 shekels during his 11-year prison term, from which he was released just months before carrying out the murders he was indicted for.

According to the PA’s 2004 Law of Prisoners and Released Prisoners, both prisoners and released prisoners are entitled to receive a payment from the PA.

Terrorists in prison receive a monthly salary that rises per time spent in prison. Released terrorists who spent at least five cumulative years in prison are entitled to preferential treatment when applying for a position in the PA, and in the absence of such a position, to receive a fixed monthly salary unlimited in time.

Released terrorist prisoners who spent between one and five years in prison are entitled to “unemployment benefit” based on the last salary they received in prison for a period equivalent to the time they spent in prison. Released terrorist prisoners who spent 10 or more years in prison are guaranteed a paid position in the PA, which they need to fill, only if specifically required to do so. Regardless of whether they actually work, these terrorists will receive their PA salary.

As noted by terrorists Mahjez and Abu Shariah, the PA pays the monthly salary to all the terrorist prisoners, irrespective of their affiliations. In many instances, the salaries paid to the terrorists are higher than the salaries earned by law abiding and productive Palestinians.

The PA recently admitted, that in 2018,
it paid more than 502 million shekels ($134.2 million) in salaries and other benefits to terrorist prisoners and released prisoners.

The following is a longer excerpt of the article in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida and the transcript of the Israeli Police's interrogation of Palestinian terrorists Khaled Rajoub and Husseini Najjar:

Headline: “Voices from Gaza: This Palestinian [Abbas] and this organization [the PLO] represent me”
“Dozens of intellectuals, politicians, academics, and even activists of [political] parties, members of various organizations, and veteran prisoners from the Gaza Strip expressed their full and voluntary support for the PLO and [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas...
Dr. Khader Mahjez said: ‘The PLO did not agree with me about my affiliation with Hamas when I was one of its [Hamas’] founders, but when I was imprisoned on charges [of being affiliated with] Hamas, the PLO paid me compensation and did not ask me about my organizational affiliation.’
...
Marwan Abu Shariah wrote: ‘I’m in favor of the PLO and concerned about its fate because when I was in prison my father went to a PLO ministry in Amman and received a monthly allowance from them for a married prisoner, without them asking him about my affiliation and my opinion on the PLO...
I’m in favor of the PLO because I discovered that all of the prisoners, and prime among them the prisoners from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, receive their salaries from the PLO, and that sometimes they are higher than salaries of judges and doctors. This is while their factions did not give them and their families even a tenth of what the PLO gave them, despite the difficulties and harassment that the PLO is dealing with on this matter (apparently refers to implementation of Israeli law to deduct terrorist salaries from PA tax money; see note below -Ed.). If not for these salaries, their families would have been abandoned to their fate. The same is true about the Martyrs (Shahids) and the wounded.’”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 25, 2019]

Interrogation of Khaled Rajoub:

Khaled Rajoub: "I am a man with a family of seven, including me and my wife. I don't work, and I've accumulated large debts, and am unable to pay them off. I reached a point where, if my son wants a shekel, I have nothing to give him. Therefore I decided to die - it didn't matter how - by hanging - any way, [just] to die. I thought about it and said to myself that if I die by hanging, or any other way, I won't get anything out of it, so I decided to do something serious, such as committing murder, something in which I will both kill and die, and then my family will get money (i.e., from the PA) and will live comfortably. In other words, something will come out of my death. In the end I decided to kill Israeli soldiers. I got in a car and drove to Al-Fawwar, to the junction, because there's always a military post there, and I said [to myself] that I'll run them [the soldiers] over in my car and kill as many as I can, and they'll shoot me and kill me. However, I didn't find a military post in Al-Fawwar. I continued to drive to a second post, to the gate of [the Israeli town Beit] Hagai because I know there are always soldiers standing there, and I said to myself that I'll run them over and kill as many as possible, and they'll kill me. However, I did not find [any soldiers] there either. I had no other hope or way, so I broke through the gate of the settlement. I said [to myself] I can kill the guard, and then they'll shoot me. I broke in with my car and broke it [the gate] and rammed into the second gate. But I couldn't break it and the guards were behind the second gate. I tried to break it in order to bring it down on them, but it didn't come down, and they didn't shoot me, but captured me instead. I was injured during the incident and they took me to a hospital..."

Israeli interrogator: "Did you try to kill the guards who were behind the gate?"

Khaled Rajoub: "Yes, exactly, I tried to bring down the gate on them. I rammed into it twice, but it didn't come down, and then they captured me and the car remained with them. Too bad I couldn't kill anyone, and I am determined. Meaning if you release me now, I will take a car, look for soldiers, run them over, and kill them. I am determined to do so."

Interrogator: "Do you have a gun?"

Khaled Rajoub: "I've never carried [a gun]."

Interrogator: "Did you consider bringing a gun?"

Khaled Rajoub: "I have nothing to eat, how can I buy a gun?"

Interrogator: "But why did you decide to kill soldiers, and not someone else?"

Khaled Rajoub: "The best is to kill soldiers. That way they have guns and they'll shoot me and kill me. But if I'm not able to kill soldiers, I'll try settlers, guards - in other words any Israeli target - the important thing is that I will die and they will kill me, so that my children will receive a [PA] allowance and live happily."

Interrogator: "What did you want to achieve by killing soldiers or settlers, or any Israeli target?"

Khaled Rajoub: "So they'd shoot me and I'd die, and my children would receive an allowance."

Interrogator: "Are you still determined to do that?"

Khaled Rajoub: "Of course, 100%. I'm telling you - if you'll set me free, I'll do it again as soon as possible. I'll bring another car, and I'll run over [soldiers] at the first military post I see. I'll kill as many as possible, and they'll shoot me, and I'll die. There is no other solution."

Interrogator: "If you have the opportunity to kill soldiers or an Israeli [civilian] in another way - shooting, stabbing, or any other way - will you do it?"

Khaled Rajoub: "I don't know. Something like that requires checking. Why? Because someone like me, small and disabled in his leg - I barely walk - needs a thorough plan to kill in a different way. The easiest way for someone like me is to run over [someone] with a car."

Interrogator: "Do you want to add anything?"

Khaled Rajoub: "No, God bless you. But I say to you again - I don't regret what I did, and if I have the opportunity, I'll do it again, and I'll kill soldiers or any Israeli I come across."
[Israeli Police interrogation of terrorist Khaled Rajoub, Feb. 2, 2014]


Interrogation of Husseini Najjar:

Interrogator: “How is your health?”

Husseini Najjar: “Good.”

Interrogator: “Do you know how to read and write in Arabic?”

Husseini Najjar: “Yes.”

Interrogator: “When were you arrested and where?”

Husseini Najjar: “On Aug. 15, 2013, from my home in Hebron.”

Interrogator: “ Are you affiliated with, or do you support or identify with any organization?”

Husseini Najjar: “No.”

Interrogator: “Were you a former security prisoner in Israel and on what suspicions?”

Husseini Najjar: “Yes, I was a former security prisoner in Israel in 2008 until February 2013 on a case of membership and activity as part of a military cell affiliated with Hamas and planning to carry out a shooting attack and suicide bombing; there were others with me and they were: 1 - Ali Hassan Al-Joulani, approximately 24 from Hebron, married, Hebron Municipality worker. 2 - Abd Al-Karim Abu Zeineh, approximately 24 from Hebron, single, medicine distribution worker. 3 - Ali Othman Abu Shukheidem, approximately 24 from Hebron, married, worker at a shoe [factory]. For most of that period I was at Ketziot Prison.”

Interrogator: “Did you receive arrest allowances? Explain the details to me.”

Husseini Najjar: “During my time in Ketziot Prison I submitted a request to the social committee inside the prison that is associated with the Hamas organization, and there I asked for monetary aid and arrest payments (mustahaqqaat) because of the period of imprisonment in Israel, and I noted my full name and details for this request, and I also noted the name of a prisoner at the time whose name is Mazen Al-Natsheh from Hebron, approximately 40, known as Abu Hudheifa, and he was a Hamas security prisoner. I made this request according to what Mazen Al-Natsheh told me, and I wrote it as he told me, and I also asked for money for him. The social committee asked for the name of a representative in Jordan so they could transfer the money to him and he would send it to me afterwards, and I gave the name of Muhammad Ali Ghaban known as Abu Ali. This Abu Ali is an uncle from my mother’s father’s side; I don’t personally know him. After my release I called Abu Ali and told him money is supposed to come to you from the Al-Nour Association in Gaza, which is affiliated with Hamas - a sum of approximately $10,000. I called him after two weeks and he told me that the money was with him already, and that was in the month of March 2013. After that I told him I would arrange someone who could transfer it to the West Bank; after that, Abu Ali called me after about a week and told me that he had sent someone from his end to the West Bank with the money, and he indeed sent me a money changer - I don’t know him - and he gave me a sum of $8,000, and this sum was for me and also for Mazen Al-Natsheh. I took this entire sum and gave Mazen the arrest allowance from my private money from the Palestinian [PA] Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs salary after I exchanged it to dollars, and the sum was $2,235, and that was in March or April 2013. Mazen doesn’t know all I did, he only knows that the source of the money is the Al-Nour Association in Gaza; regarding this sum, Mazen would tell me that this sum comes to you as an arrest allowance.”

Interrogator: “Did you turn to others in order to obtain the arrest allowance? Explain to me.”

Husseini Najjar: “Regarding this allowance that I noted, I previously turned to my friend named Ahmed Kamel Thawabteh, approximately 24 from Beit Fajjar/Bethlehem; he was imprisoned together with me at the Ketziot Prison during the same period. I called Ahmed and told him: ‘I want to transfer my allowance from Jordan, how can you help me?’ and then he answered me: ‘I have a paternal aunt who lives in Jordan,’ and he asked me to send the money to her and speak with her. I called Abu Ali and told him there is someone in Jordan, send her the money so she can send it to me, and he refused and told me: ‘I can’t.’ After that, I called Ahmed and told him ‘Forget it, there’s no need for help from your paternal aunt.’ Ahmed Al-Thawabteh doesn’t know that I received money from the Al-Nour Association, he only knows that I asked for money; Ahmed Al-Thuabata told me that he received money from the Al-Nour Association in Gaza before I came to him with a request for help in obtaining the money from Jordan.
I would like to tell you that I had financial difficulties as I am engaged, and I was supposed to get married in September to Yasmin Ata Najjar from Hebron, and after the [my] release I began to work at a shoe factory for the Zghayer family and my salary was 1,500 shekels, and I had a bank account and in it a sum of 45,000 shekels salary from the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs. I also received allowance money from Hamas from the Al-Nour Association - $8,000. I gathered a total of 70,000 shekels and bought an apartment whose value was 140,000 shekels together with my father-in-law, and he paid 70,000 shekels and doesn’t know the source of my money. I took from my maternal uncle a sum of 1,000 Jordan dinars, and I am still short by a sum of 30,000 shekels for the wedding in September.”

Interrogator: “What happened to you afterwards?”

Husseini Najjar: “Because of my difficult financial situation, as I told you, I decided to arrange some kind of imaginary plan that the Israeli Security Agency [would think was real] so that I would be arrested and have more than 5 years in prison, so that I would receive a fixed salary as allowance money from the PA, and this was to cover the debts and complete [my savings] for the wedding. After I have 5 years, I will have a salary of approximately 4,000 shekels, and this sum for 3 years- in other words, it will be a sum of 135,000, and in this way I will cover my debts. In other words, this entire matter is a financial plan, and I made a plan to go into the Israeli prison and turned to a number of people from Hebron, Beit Fajjar, and Bethlehem, and I tricked them that there is a genuine military operation against Israel, and I tricked them that I have an intention to obtain weapons.”

Interrogator: “Explain to me in detail to whom you turned and asked to carry out a military operation against Israel.”

Husseini Najjar: “1: Azzam Muhammad Ismail Najjar, approximately 24, single, from Hebron, works in the library. I turned to him in April 2013 and met him in the street next to Abu Katila and suggested to him that we need to bring weapons from Bethlehem in order to carry out a military operation. At first Azzam refused, and then he agreed to my proposal; I had a number of meetings with Azzam, and the last meeting was at the library last Tuesday [Aug. 13, 2013] and I told him that something was supposed to happen in Bethlehem on Aug. 20, [2013,] and he said to me: ‘Why didn’t you tell me? What do you want, to destroy my life?’ and I didn’t tell him any more details. 2: Ahmed Thawabteh and Yusuf Makhamra- about 23, single, from Yatta, Hebron, works in a supermarket in Yatta, was with me in Ketziot Prison - and I remember that they came to my house to congratulate me upon my release from prison, it was around April 2013, they came to my house and during the visit I suggested to them that we bring weapons from Bethlehem in order to carry out a military operation and the two of them rejected the idea. After that, when Ahmed Thawabteh got engaged to my paternal cousin and I saw him again at the time and again suggested a military operation to him, he told me: ‘What do you want, to destroy my home?’ but I personally understood that he agreed and I met with Ahmed Thawabteh again as he was engaged to my paternal cousin and would usually come to them on Thursdays. I said to him one time that something was supposed to happen on Aug. 20, an attack in Bethlehem, but you have no connection to this attack. I want to tell you that Ahmed Thawabteh knows that I spoke with Azzam Najjar on the topic of weapons and a military operation, and also with Azzam Najjar, he knows about the matter; but the two of them never spoke with each other about the matter. I turned to Azzam Najjar again and asked him to carry out a military operation on the day my paternal aunt named Siham died in the month of Ramadan in 2013, and I told him that I intend to bring weapons in order hide them, and he agreed and said: ‘Give me an answer so I'll be ready.’ We were alone and I told him the type of weapon is Kalashnikov and asked Azzam to find a hiding place for the weapons. The last time I spoke with Azzam on this matter, as I told you before, was the day of the murder of Jawad Al-Qawasmeh. 3: Ammar Amin Ata Najjar, approximately 16, from Hebron, a school student. During the mourning period for my paternal aunt, I turned to Ammar and asked him for assistance in a military attack in Bethlehem against the Israelis, and he agreed to the matter and I mentioned to him the date of Aug. 20 when I would carry out an attack - me personally and someone else with me, and I did not note details to him. I asked him that he be a lookout next to the settlement of Efrat, near Bethlehem. I told him: ‘Afterwards I will give you details about the matter.’ After this, and before Eid Al-Fitr I called him and asked him to wait for me near my house and after the Tarawih prayer at night I met with Ammar at home and I told him that the attack was supposed to be on Aug. 21, and that his role is supposed to change and that he would not be a lookout and not at the attack itself; he would just be a messenger and would remain in Hebron in order to receive messages of what would happen in Bethlehem - in other words the attack - and would let my paternal uncle Yusri Najjar know if I died a Martyrdom-death (Istish’had). Ammar said to me: ‘I will think about it.’ After that I said to Ammar that after the attack someone will take you in a car and you will meet another guy, and he will give you a bag with a weapon inside for you to hide, and they will be in contact with you. I also gave him a piece of paper on which was [written] how he would send messages to the young people, meaning those who would deal with me. An example is the word weapon, each letter is one earlier according to the letters of the alphabet. And Ammar said to me: ‘I will think about it and send you an SMS.’ Afterwards he sent me a text message and said 'I don’t want this at all,' and I understood that he is refusing this matter.”

Interrogator: “Did you ask someone for a weapon? Explain to me.”

Husseini Najjar: “Yes, from a guy whose name is Rashed Ibrahim Dar Rashed Al-Yamani, about 23, single, from Bethlehem. He was together with me in Ashkelon Prison in 2008-2009, and in March 2013 I called him and told him: ‘I want a favor from you; I want a weapon from you.’ He told me to come to Bethlehem, and I told him I want a Kalashnikov or M16, and he told me to come to Bethlehem for this matter. And I spoke openly with Rashed because I know I am under surveillance by the Israeli Security Agency, and that was so I would be arrested. I called Rashed twice and asked him for a weapon, and I turned to Rashed because he called me after my release from prison and I kept his number. I don’t know if Rashed deals with weapons but I asked him personally, and in the end I did not take or receive any weapon from him, or from anyone else, and I did not propose a military operation to him.”

Interrogator: “You noted under interrogation with the Israeli Security Agency that you proposed a military operation to those you mentioned as part of a military cell, and in your testimony you did not mention that especially. Why, and which is correct?”

Husseini Najjar: “What is correct is that I proposed a military operation to them as part of a military cell, and only to those whose names I mentioned to you.”

Interrogator: “Where did you get the idea of this plan so that you would be arrested in Israel?”

Husseini Najjar: “Because of my difficult financial state.”

Interrogator: “Do you have e-mail, Facebook?”

Husseini Najjar: “I don’t have e-mail. On Facebook I have a page in my name in English.”

Interrogator: “Why did you especially note the date of Aug. 20 as the day for carrying out the attack in Bethlehem?”

Husseini Najjar: “I lied.”

Interrogator: “What is the end goal you would like to achieve?”

Husseini Najjar: “To solve the financial problem I have.”

Interrogator: “Do you have weapons or explosives?”

Husseini Najjar: “No.”

Interrogator: “Give me your personal details.”

Husseini Najjar: “I was born in 1989, from Hebron, engaged, my fiancee’s name is Yasmin Amin Ata Najjar. I have no other name or nickname. My father is known as Abu Alaa, my mother’s name is Alia. I have five brothers: Alaa, Asem, Hamza, Khalil, Siraj, and I have no sisters. The name of my family and clan is Al-Najjar or Najjar, and we belong to the Jadallah faction.”

Interrogator: “Do you want to add anything to your testimony?”

Husseini Najjar: “No.”
[Israeli Police interrogation of terrorist Husseini Najjar, Aug. 18, 2013]