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PLO official relates history of “Pay-for-slay” payments

Official PA TV program Giants of Endurance, hosting Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners' Affairs Qadri Abu Bakr

Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners' Affairs Qadri Abu Bakr: "I want to say, this important group among our people – the prisoners and Martyrs (Shahids) – [former PLO Chairman and PA President] Yasser Arafat would describe them [by saying]: 'These are the best of my people.' He would talk about the prisoners explicitly and say: 'These are potential Martyrs.' They are truly the best of our people and they have always stood in the first lines. Regarding the female prisoners, they also have an important role… We say that as long as there is occupation- We will strive to have all of the prisoners released; but as long as there is occupation, there are Martyrs, prisoners, and wounded.” […]

Official PA TV host: "Brother Qadri Abu Bakr, I want to talk with you briefly and quickly about [PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas'] decision to pay the sums meant for the families of the prisoners and Martyrs even before paying the salaries of the [PA] employees – the significance of this and its message."

Qadri Abu Bakr: "Look, the issue of the salaries and caring for the families of the Martyrs and the prisoners is old. Before the outbreak of the Palestinian revolution, in 1963, money was gathered from the leaders’ salaries, and they would put it in a fund. The first transfer that reached the fund of the prisoners – let's say – and the wounded and Martyrs was from Algeria and Kuwait. This fund developed. Of course when we were outside [of Palestine] there was a fund in Lebanon and there was a fund in Amman for the prisoners and Martyrs. When we arrived here, the [PLO] Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners' Affairs was established. Afterwards the president would speak here and abroad. In the UN he said that the prisoners and Martyrs – their salaries are a red line. We cannot harm-"

Yasser Arafat

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