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Op-ed in the Jewish Exponent cites PMW findings on Abbas` responsibility for PA salaries to terrorists

Sean Durns  |

Opinion | The Inconvenient Truth About Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Terrorism

Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Palestinian Authority, the entity that rules the West Bank (otherwise known as Judea and Samaria) has been appointed to lead a terrorist organization. Although the press has frequently called Abbas, who also leads the Fatah movement and the Palestine Liberation Organization, a “moderate” and the P.A. a “peace partner,” not a single major U.S. news outlet has reported the P.A. chief’s new job.

According to Palestinian Media Watch, a non-profit organization that monitors Arab media in the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, on Aug. 2, the official newspaper of the P.A. reported that Abbas was now “the one responsible for the Palestinian National Fund.”

Israel’s defense ministry designated the PNF a terrorist organization in March 2017, noting: “The fund has a crucial role in the financial support for Palestinian terrorist operatives imprisoned in Israel, and it is used as the most significant route for transferring money.”

Times of Israel reporters Judah Ari Gross and Eric Cortellessa have reported that although the PNF “is said to contain billions of dollars from wealthy Arab donors and profits from various investments … there is little transparency or oversight in the management and use of funds.”

Abbas’ appointment should be newsworthy. As PMW pointed out, the P.A. president is now in violation of Israel’s Counter Terrorism Law 2016-5776, which stipulates that “one who heads a terrorist organization or manages it or takes part in directing the terror organization in general, directly or indirectly” faces “25 years imprisonment.” In other words, a nominal U.S. ally is now leading a terrorist organization.