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PLO official reveals difficulties in paying terrorists’ salaries

Headline: “Abu Bakr to Al-Hadath: Clear dawdling and negligence on everything concerning the payment of the prisoners’ salaries”

“In the last two months [March and April 2021] the Palestinian [PA] Ministry of Finance has paid the salaries of the prisoners, released prisoners, and families of the Martyrs and wounded through the post office branches, which are subordinate to the Ministry of Communications and IT, in the various districts. This has caused a wave of rage over the manner of payment, which is considered humiliating and degrading from the prisoners’ perspective.

Director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Qadri Abu Bakr told the paper Al-Hadath that as of now, it is unknown how this month’s salaries will be paid. He added: ‘The lists are not ready, and as far as we’re concerned the matter is currently shrouded in fog.’ According to Abu Bakr matters are not clear, and there is dawdling and negligence by some parties regarding the salaries of the prisoners and released prisoners.

He said: ‘Three months ago we refused paying the salaries of the prisoners and released prisoners through the post office, and we demanded to find another mechanism that is clear and practical for their payment. We were promised that the payment through the post office would be a one-time thing, but that did not happen.’

Abu Bakr added: ‘For three months there was foot-dragging, [and it was said] that the prisoners’ salaries would be paid through ATMs and smart cards. The matter can be completed within a week or two – but that did not happen. We criticized this and demanded that they fulfill their duty and role in the best way possible.’

The Palestinian post office announced on its official Facebook page that financial department teams of the Ministry of Communications and IT, in cooperation with the Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs and the [PA] Ministry of Foreign Affairs, are working diligently on translating (i.e., spelling in English) the names of the prisoners and Martyrs in order to print them on the postal bank’s ATM cards.

Regarding this, Abu Bakr said: ‘The post office announced to us that they intend to complete the preparation of the smart cards in the coming days, but we do not know if the salaries will be paid through them this month or not. We announced that if there are no smart cards, the prisoners will not receive their salaries through the post office, because this is a humiliation and degradation for them and their families.’

He added: ‘We hope that the salaries will be prepared for the released prisoners, 4,000 in number, who lists [of their names] were submitted as workers on pension in order to pay their salaries through the banks.’

Abu Bakr lay the responsibility for the dawdling in finding a solution for the salaries of the prisoners and released prisoners on the Ministry of Finance and Palestinian [PA] Monetary Authority, which gave promises on the issue many times, but to no avail. He demanded they expedite the issue.”

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