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PLO Commission of Prisoners in Gaza lists all forms of aid given to prisoners: Salaries to prisoners, salaries to prisoners` families, legal aid, medical, free university studies, etc.

Official PA TV program I Call You, a special broadcast for Palestinian Prisoner’s Day, hosting Director of the Gaza office of the PLO Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners' Affairs Bassem Al-Majdalawi, Researcher and expert of prisoners’ affairs Majdi Salem, Head of the prisoners’ committee of the National and Islamic Forces Yasser Muzhir, and the released prisoner Jihad Ghabn.

Director of the Gaza office of the PLO Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners' Affairs Bassem Al-Majdalawi: “The [PLO] Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners' Affairs provides many services that guarantee the prisoners’ families a dignified life in Palestinian society. There are monthly salaries (rawatib ) paid by the Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs to all the Palestinian families with prisoners in the prisons, without differentiating between the Palestinian organizations. The Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs is responsible for paying monthly salaries to all Palestinian and Arab prisoners. Likewise, it conducts legal monitoring for the prisoners serving time in prisons, and in Israeli meetings (i.e., regarding legal matters of the prisoner’s trial). It covers the [legal] expenses of these meetings and the lawyers. It [the PLO commission] pays a clothing allowance to the prisoners’ families every six months, in addition to their salaries. Likewise, medical and legal monitoring are being conducted in situations of oppression that the prisons (sic., prisoners) are exposed to. In certain cases, some of the [prison] wings are burnt down. The men within the prison burn down the wings as a reaction against the courts’ administration. There are losses of prisoners’ belongings in this prison, and the Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs compensates both the wings and the prisoners so that the prisoners can buy what they need…”

Official PA TV host: “But what about the prisoners’ [academic] studies inside the prisons, the services provided by you to ease [the prisoners' situation]?”

Bassem Al-Majdalawi: “Likewise, the women and children of the prisoners are completely exempt [from payment of tuition fees] in Palestinian universities and schools - this is for a prisoner in prison. There is a program called the Released Prisoners’ Rehabilitation Program for released [prisoners] and the commission is responsible for [paying] the academic tuition fees for released prisoners. Likewise, there is a mechanism for small enterprises for those interested in starting a business, especially in light of the conditions prevailing in the Palestinian territories. There is an option that this prisoner will start a small business and the commission will support this initiative so that the prisoner will become integrated and live in dignity within Palestinian society.

There are also loan services and a professional training service. It is true that it (i.e., the professional training service) has been temporarily stopped in the Gaza Strip due to the rift [between Hamas and Fatah], but we are about to reinstall these services which were stopped due to the rift. These courses train the released prisoners, particularly those who served short periods in prisons and to whom the Prisoners' Law does not allow payment of monthly salaries after their release. (Only a prisoner who has been imprisoned for a minimum of 5 years in an Israeli prison is entitled to a salary upon release. Prisoners who have served less time receive a lump sum. –Ed.) They can take a radio and television course, aluminum [works] course, and a carpentry and sewing course. Likewise, after the course, the commission can provide the special equipment for this profession - in other words, [prisoners who took] a sewing course are provided with a sewing machine, or other things connected to sewing. Likewise, those who finished the radio and television [course] are provided with the special equipment. The same goes for every electricity or auto electricity profession. The Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs offers many courses. In addition, [it offers a course to obtain] a driver’s license. Some of the prisoners want a driver’s license to earn a living from [driving] a car, especially if they served a short time and the Prisoners' Law does not apply to this released [prisoner] so that he [cannot] receive a monthly salary like the rest of the veteran prisoners.”

This segment was also broadcast on April 18, 2016.

All Palestinians serving time in Israeli prisons were imprisoned for security offenses and terror related crimes. According to the PA Prisoner's Law, the word "prisoner" is defined as "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)
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