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Newly appointed Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs visits terrorist, criticizes Israel’s law to deduct tax money from the PA in the amount it pays terrorists and their families

Headline: “He was appointed to the role of director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ [Affairs] and visited the first prisoner of the revolution; Abu Bakr: The prisoners’ cause is essential and central to our people”

“Director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs Maj. Gen. Qadri Abu Bakr visited first prisoner of the modern Palestinian revolution Mahmoud Bakr Hijazi (i.e., terrorist, participated in Fatah’s first terror attack in 1965) at his home in Ramallah, together with a delegation of members of the Fatah Movement Revolutionary Council and a number of clerks from the Commission [of Prisoners’ Affairs].
Abu Bakr emphasized the importance of the prisoners’ cause as a central and basic cause of our Palestinian people and its long path of struggle. It should be noted that prisoner Hijazi is the first Palestinian prisoner of the Palestinian revolution. He was arrested on Jan. 17, 1965; he was in a group of self-sacrificing fighters (Fedayeen) who blew up a bridge that served Israeli military vehicles next to Beit Jibrin in the Hebron district (sic., attempted to blow up the Nehusha Water Institute in central Israel). He was born in 1936 in Jerusalem, was arrested while wounded, and was transferred to the prison in Ramle. He was in prison for 6 years and released on Feb. 28, 1971, in a prisoner exchange deal at Rosh HaNikra in southern Lebanon (sic., northern Israel)…
Maj. Gen. Abu Bakr and a number of members of the new managing committee who are responsible for managing the commission… were briefed on all of the administrative, financial, and legal details of the [prisoners’] institute, and the difficult status and conditions surrounding the cause of the prisoners in the occupation’s prisons at all levels.
Abu Bakr said that the challenges that the new managing committee is dealing with are great – and prime among them are the Israeli law to deduct the allowances (mukhassasat) of the families of the Martyrs (Shahids) and the prisoners from the tax money that Israel collects for the State of Palestine (refers to Israeli law deducting terror salaries from taxes collected for the PA; see note below –Ed.); and also the blatant Israeli attack on the legitimacy of the Palestinian struggle and the attempt to define it as criminal at the international level.
He added: ‘We will continue to cooperate with the members of the commission in order to defend the prisoners, their family members, and the released prisoners. This is because it is a national and humanitarian obligation that cannot be neglected.’”

Mahmoud Bakr Hijazi was serving 30 years in prison for attempting to blow up the Nehusha Water Institute in central Israel in 1965. He was released in 1971 and returned to Lebanon in an exchange deal with Fatah for Shmuel Rozenvasser, an Israeli citizen who was abducted by Fatah terrorists in 1970.

Law to deduct terrorist salaries from PA tax money - 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 on July 2, 2018.
During the parliamentary vote, 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]

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