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PA Prime Minister promises that "we are fully committed" to paying salaries of Palestinian terrorist prisoners

Video posted on the Facebook page of PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh; the video shows an interview of Shtayyeh with the London-based Al-Araby TV



Interviewer: “The prisoners’ cause: At the beginning you refused to accept the tax money [as long as it had been] deducted or cut by the Israeli side, or the Israeli occupation, but afterwards you accepted the tax money in full despite Israel’s insistence on the deduction (refers to Israel’s Anti “Pay-for-Slay” Law to deduct PA terror salaries; see note below -Ed.). There are those who would say, or would ask the PA and the government: Have you abandoned the prisoners, and what are the alternative solutions for them?”


Muhammad Shtayyeh: “Madam, you know and all the people watching your show know for certain that we are fully committed. We have not abandoned the prisoners, and we will not abandon the prisoners. The prisoners’ cause is a sacred cause. They have rights, and we must protect this. That is on the one hand. On the other hand, Israel and the US imposed sanctions on us due to our commitment to the prisoners. In any case we will protect the sanctity of this cause. The prisoners’ cause has two parts – one is political, which is with the Americans, the Israelis, and so on, and if the connections with the Americans develop this will require a discussion. But the most important thing is that there are financial rights for the prisoners. We will remain committed to them in every way.”


Interviewer: “You have spoken about establishing a bank that may-”


Muhammad Shtayyeh: "The bank is not for the prisoners. The bank is not for the prisoners. The bank is for development and investment. Transferring the problem from the commercial banks to a governmental bank will not solve the problem. What we want is to solve the problem in its political aspect. From our perspective the prisoners’ issue is a national honor, honor of the struggle. In general, we- There is Israeli incitement that the issue of paying the salaries- Okay, we are paying canteen [allowances] to the prisoners who are in the prisons. If we are late by a day or two the Israelis start to say: Why didn’t you pay the canteen [allowances] of [the prisoners]-”


Interviewer: “It will be deducted.”


Muhammad Shtayyeh: “It will be deducted and the like. In any case, in the clause [regarding] the prisoners, we are fully committed towards our brothers. They have rights, and we have an obligation towards them, and we will fulfill it…