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Terrorists come from families with middle and high incomes, not motivated by social problems or humanitarian situation – op-ed

Excerpt of op-ed by Muwaffaq Matar, Fatah Revolutionary Council member and regular columnist for the official PA daily

 

Headline: “Today the Doctors' Association and tomorrow the universities"

 

"The news of the signing of an agreement between the National Association of the Families of the Martyrs of Palestine and the [Palestinian] Doctors' Association to grant the Martyrs' families an exemption from fees for medical examinations in private clinics by doctors registered with the association in the West Bank districts was, in our eyes, a national event worthy of attention and having the spotlights focused on it, in light of the timing and the great significance of such a national act…

[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas emphasizes at every opportunity the top prioritization of the families of the Martyrs and the prisoners, and the continued payment of the allowances (mukhassasat) in full… and his position on the matter has only grown stronger after the occupation's crime of deducting the value of the prisoners' salaries (rawatib) and the allowances of the Martyrs’ families (referring to Israel’s Anti "Pay-for-Slay" Law to deduct terrorist salaries; see note below –Ed.)…

An important point should be noted here, which is that most of the Martyrs and prisoners who have joined the national struggle activities and fighting have been from among those with average or high incomes, and this means that the motivation for guaranteeing privileges for their relatives is not subject to criteria of social problems or a humanitarian situation, but rather to criteria and principles of national commitment, according to the values, rules, and laws of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement [Fatah], and also the culture of the society in which the Martyr has an exalted and laudable status, and there is admiration for the prisoner and his heroism…

We will realize the popular partnership in the national decision, and outline the goals and character of every stage, until independence is realized and a sovereign state is established – and [also] political institutions capable of fulfilling their role… by utilizing their abilities to realize and implement the priorities – which the Martyrs and released [prisoners] will always head, regardless of the size and length of the list [of priorities]."

 

Israel's Anti "Pay-for-Slay" Law - 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 by the Israeli Parliament on July 2, 2018, and its first implementation was approved by Israel's Security Cabinet on Feb. 17, 2019, when it decided to withhold 502,697,000 Israeli shekels (approximately $138 million) from the PA. In response, the PA announced it would not accept any of the tax money collected by Israel unless it also included the frozen amount.  During the initial parliamentary vote in 2018, 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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