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PA TV reports on proposal to increase salaries to imprisoned “Martyrs” (i.e., terrorists)

Official PA TV daily program Palestine This Morning reports on an Iftar meal to break the Ramadan fast held for 300 families of “Martyrs” (Shahids) in Ramallah, which was attended by PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah

Secretary-General of the National Association of the Martyrs' Families of Palestine Muhammad Sbeihat: “We are optimistic regarding what [PA] Prime Minister [Rami Hamdallah] said, because we met with him in recent weeks and we requested to increase the allowances of the Martyrs’ (Shahids) families, the monthly allowances…
Currently a discussion is being held between the [National] Association [of the Martyrs' Families of Palestine] and the [PLO’s] Families of the Martyrs and Wounded Institution on one side and the [PA] Ministry of Finance on the other, in order to determine the amount of the monthly increase [for families of Martyrs] and the date it begins. In his speech, his honor the prime minister [Hamdallah] emphasized… that the government will work to implement this, and that gives additional hope to the [National] Association [of the Martyrs' Families of Palestine] that the increase will be achieved during the coming period.” […] There is understanding from all sides. Even the [PA] Ministry of Finance knows that the current allowance, or the base allowance, that stands at 1,400 shekels a month, is very low. This amount was determined and implemented in mid-2011, which is to say around five years ago. Naturally this amount has started to erode when we talk about its purchasing power, and therefore what has been proposed is not just an increase in the allowance, but rather to connect the base allowance to the cost-of-living index. There is understanding on the part of the [PA] Ministry of Finance regarding this demand. However, the discussion is currently revolving around the exact amount…The [PA] Ministry of Finance says that there is no allocation in the 2016 budget to increase the allowances, because this is supposed to start at the beginning of next year [2017], but on the other hand the [PLO’s] Families of the Martyrs and Wounded Institution says that there is a surplus in the budget and therefore we can start implementing this [increase] before the end of the year… The Palestinian Authority gives allowances to roughly 30,000 families of Martyrs and wounded inside the homeland and in the diaspora, and we must not forget that the diaspora takes a large portion of the allowances, although that in no way exempts the PA from its full obligation to these families [in the diaspora].
There is an issue that remains unresolved, and that is the issue of the families of the Martyrs of the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip in 2014 (i.e., Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s response to Hamas’ firing of thousands of rockets at Israel). These families have not yet received their allowances. That is a big problem. We raised this issue in the last meeting, in the last speech we gave before his honor the prime minister [Hamdallah], and we also raised this issue in our meeting with the prime minister several weeks ago. It is essential to resolve this problem. There are about 2,000 Martyrs’ families in the Gaza Strip who still have not received their allowances. … His honor the prime minister promised [action] in a previous meeting, and also in an unofficial conversation two days ago with sister Um Jihad [Intisar Al-Wazir, Chairwoman of the Families of the Martyrs and Wounded Institution], at the Iftar [fast-breaking] meal. This issue must be dealt with. We hope that this problem will indeed be dealt with, because it is the greatest challenge of the government at this time, its obligations towards the Martyrs’ families.
Regarding the families of the Martyrs of the popular uprising (euphemism for Palestinian wave of terror attacks 2015-2016, including stabbings, and shootings -Ed.) and the rest of the Martyrs in general, these families receive their allowances at the most two or three months after the Martyrs’ death. Likewise, the families also receive a set amount of 6,000 shekels aside from the monthly allowance that they receive… When you’re talking about an allowance for the family of a Martyr that is comprised of four people, that is to say the wife of the Martyr and three people, for example, we are talking about an amount of 2,400 shekels. This amount definitely is not enough, definitely not. It is true that there is free education as well as medical insurance for the Martyr's family, but this definitely is not enough.”

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