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Head of PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs “proud” of financial rewards to and education of Palestinians imprisoned in Israel

Official PA TV program PLO Institutions, on the PLO Commission of Prisoners Affairs, hosting Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake

Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake: “The [PLO] Commission [of Prisoners’ Affairs] has many programs and services that are given to the Palestinian prisoners – whether those who are in the prisons or those who are released. First, I can say that every Palestinian prisoner inside the prisons receives social aid through the Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, and that is important. It’s important, and I’ll quote the words of [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas at the [PLO] Central Council conference, when he was asked or spoke about the pressure and bartering and the pressure from the US and Israel regarding the allowances (mukhassas) of the prisoners, Martyrs (Shahids), and wounded. He said: ‘Even until the last day of my life, we will not stop this support, it is important’… Therefore, the family of every Palestinian prisoner receives social aid, and we are proud of this and not ashamed of it, and we say this openly because it is our national, human, and moral obligation, and the obligation of the struggle. There is support for this from the Palestinian leadership and from the Palestinian government…

We have the curriculum. The right of the prisoner to register at a Palestinian university has been denied [by Israel], and we cover 50%-75% of the tuition for the Palestinian universities for the released prisoners. We also have a program connected to studies, The Guidance Program(possibly the intention here is matriculation –Ed.), for prisoners inside the Israeli occupation’s prisons, which is being run for the fourth consecutive year. The prisoners submit exams and we do the coordination activities with teaching committees inside the prisons, in cooperation with the [PA] Ministry of Education. In addition, there are more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners who have registered for Al-Quds Open University and Abu Dis University for a bachelor’s degree…

A released prisoner who has served more than 5 years receives a p ermanent grant (i.e., for life), a released female prisoner who has served more than 2 years receives a permanent grant, and we also have a training program as I said – training in the field of studies, professional training. We are also providing small projects, loans to the released prisoners who want to establish a small productive project. There are more than 1,500 projects in which we gave to released prisoners who did very successful projects in different fields… Every prisoner inside the prisons receives health insurance. He is provided with health insurance for his family and children. After he comes out [of prison], the released prisoner also receives health insurance for treatment.”

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