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Arafat decided all prisoners in the Israeli prisons are “soldiers,” says former PA Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs

Former PA Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs Hisham Abd Al-Razeq: "The matter of paying the salaries to the prisoners – it is correct that they were paid in the past through the [PLO Prisoners, Martyrs, and Wounded] Institution, but there was a qualitative change in this issue by [PA] President Yasser Arafat when he decided to consider all of the prisoners within the Israeli prisons as soldiers… Since then the prisoners within the prisons have been recognized as soldiers of the Palestinian revolution, and a salary as a soldier was approved for them. Afterwards, this was developed into pay scales for our prisoners within the prisons based on defined criteria, which were determined by the [PA] Ministry of Prisoners’ [Affairs], and which [PA] President Abbas approved when he was prime minister in 2003."