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PM Shtayyeh: Palestinian "martyrs illuminated the path, and turned their bodies into a bridge" for a Palestinian state

Headline: “Shtayyeh: The Martyrs illuminated the path to freedom for us, we will continue to be committed to their families




[PA] Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh said: ‘We want the families of the Martyrs and the prisoners to live in pride and dignity, and therefore we will deal with all the pressures that are being exerted against us in order to continue standing by our commitments to them. This is a national and moral commitment.’


He said this yesterday [Jan. 9, 2022] in Ramallah during a speech he gave at the central ceremony for Palestinian Martyrs’ Day, in the presence of Chairwoman of the [PLO] Families of the Martyrs and Wounded Institution Intisar Al-Wazir and Secretary-General of the National Association of the Families of the Martyrs of Palestine Muhammad Sbeihat…


Shtayyeh continued: ‘Martyrs’ Day is a day of memory, honor, and loyalty to those who illuminated the path for us, turned their bodies into a bridge for us, and said “We passed from here to the homeland, state, freedom, and independence.” The path is still long.’


The prime minister added: ‘Our people’s struggle is a moral and noble struggle, whose goal is to put an end to the injustice and the occupation and to establish an independent and sovereign state that is sustainable and has territorial continuity whose capital is Jerusalem, in addition to the refugees’ right of return.’


Shtayyeh emphasized: ‘We are not highway robbers, and our land is not commercial real estate. We are not foreigners on this land, and we have never been passersby in it. We are the people of the land and its children. Our struggle is a struggle of honor and self-pride. Our land is our national identity. We came from it and we belong to it. Our project is the liberation of the land and the people. We are planted here, we have defeated all the passersby in this land, and on behalf of the Martyrs we will defeat this occupation.’ …


Chairwoman of the Families of the Martyrs and Wounded Institution Intisar Al-Wazir… emphasized that the institution is making every effort according to its capabilities to provide a security net for the families of the Martyrs and the prisoners, despite all the pressures that have been exerted on our leadership so that it will not pay [salaries] (refers to Israel’s Anti “Pay-for-Slay” Law to deduct PA terror salaries; see note below -Ed.)…


Secretary-General of the National Association of the Families of the Martyrs Muhammad Sbeihat said… that the occupation’s decision to give its soldiers more freedom in opening fire on our people (refers to new open-fire orders against terrorists; see note below -Ed.) and to require the banks to close the accounts of the Martyrs (sic., prisoners) in order to pressure their families (refers to the application of much of Israel's Anti-Terror Law to the West Bank, including rendering banks liable to punishment for facilitating PA terror salaries -Ed.) will not prevent our people from continuing in resistance, because the goal is not to receive monthly allowances of Martyrs, but rather to establish the Palestinian state.


He emphasized that the position of [PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas] and his government has been clear and unambiguous: They will continue to pay the allowances of the Martyrs and the prisoners, because standing by their side is a national duty and their right…


Arab Democratic Party Chairman and former Israeli Parliament Member Talab El-Sana said in a speech on behalf of the 1948 Palestinians (i.e., Israeli Arabs) that the Galilee (i.e., in northern Israel) will remain Arab, despite all the incidents of Judaization…


He added that all the attempts to divide our one people are doomed to failure, because our cause is one, and all our people carry in their hearts the Palestinian concern, hope, and dream.


He also said that the Martyrs are immortalized in our people’s memory because they illuminate the path to freedom. He conveyed a blessing to the prisoners in the occupation’s prison, and noted that our people will triumph in the end because the Zionist project is sick…


During the ceremony – which was organized by the Families of the Martyrs and Wounded Institution in cooperation with the National Association of the Families of the Martyrs of Palestine and under the auspices of President Mahmoud Abbas – exhibits of art and heritage were displayed.”






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. During the parliamentary vote, 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] In accordance with the law, as of September 2021 Israel’s Security Cabinet had ordered the freeze of 1.857 billion shekels ($580.15 million) - the sum equivalent to the PA payments to terrorists in 2018, 2019, and 2020.


Israeli open-fire policy of November 2021 - The Israeli army revised its open-fire policy for soldiers in the West Bank, which was reported on Dec. 19, 2021 as having been in effect since November 2021. According to the new policy, soldiers can shoot at the lower body of terrorists who have thrown rocks or firebombs at Israeli civilians, even if the terrorist is no longer in the act of attacking. However, soldiers must first go through the suspect arrest protocol of calling for the terrorist to stop, warning that they will open fire, and firing in the air before shooting at the terrorists. The revision is meant to prevent terrorists from being able to flee the scene and evade justice.


Israeli army legislation which applies parts of Israel's 2016 Anti-Terror Law to the West Bank (taking effect on May 9, 2020). The law prohibits numerous terror related offenses, including terror funding/rewarding and holds heads of terror organizations responsible for murder committed by members of the organization. The law criminalizes the provision of funds for or the payment of rewards for the commission of terrorist offenses, such as the salaries the PA pays to terrorist prisoners and released prisoners. The provision also applies to any person or body - such as a bank - that facilitates such funding or rewarding of terror offenses. Based on this last provision, PMW sent letters in April 2020 to the heads of banks in the PA areas warning them that they must freeze the accounts of terrorists and their proxies and transfer them to the Israeli army or face legal consequences.