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Proof imprisoned terrorists have exclusive control over their PA salary, not their families - Daughter gets terrorist dad’s salary

Nan Jacques Zilberdik  |

At times the PA has tried to excuse or hide the terror salaries it pays to imprisoned terrorists, arguing that the money is for the needy families who have lost their main and sometimes only breadwinner. But Palestinian Media Watch has documented that only the terrorists have control over the money, not the relatives, and that only if the terrorist decides to transfer the money to the family, the family will have access to it. 

A recent interview with the daughter of a terrorist prisoner again supports this conclusion. The daughter explained that her imprisoned father began transferring his “monthly salary” from the PA to her as soon as he heard she was getting married:  

Aya, daughter of prisoner Fawaz Ba’arah: “Ever since I set the date of my wedding, [dad] has been putting in his monthly salary [from the PA] in order to pay for my "wedding present with it".  

[Official PA TV, Giants of Endurance, June 30, 2022] 

In 2013, PMW published a rare interview with the wife of a prisoner who chose not to transfer his salary to her but gave it to other relatives. Then PA Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake openly admitted that “the current procedure in the Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs is that the prisoner determines who has the power of attorney… he gives the power of attorney to whomever he wants from [among his] first-degree relatives to receive his monetary allowances" (see transcript below): 

In the past, PMW provided 12 different reasons to entirely debunk the PA claim that the terrorist salaries are a form of social welfare. The reasons given were: 
1. PA law defines the payments to prisoners as salaries 

2. PA officials and prisoners' representatives deny that salaries are social welfare 

3. Prisoners, and not their families, have complete control over the transfer of the salaries 

4. Salaries rise based on years spent in prison and not based on financial need 

5. Social welfare considerations add only small payments to the base salary 

6. Salaries to prisoners are treated with the same status as salaries to civil servants. 

7. Prisoners pay income tax on their salaries, like all government employees 

8. Prisoners' salaries are higher than salaries of PA civil servants 

9. Payments to families of terrorist "Martyrs" are higher than social welfare for those in need 

10. Released prisoners continue to receive monthly salaries 

11. PA officials openly declare that prisoners receive salaries because they are "heroes"             

12. Released prisoner demanded undiminished salary because: "I personally killed Jews"  

The following is a longer excerpt of the interview with the wife of a prisoner published by PMW in 2013: 

PA TV journalist Roba Al-Najjar: "She suffered in silence and we couldn't stand there and do nothing. [Is control over the money] her right? - Yes! Is [this] her children's urgent need? - Absolutely! Do they have control? Unfortunately not." 

Journalist interviewing the prisoner's wife: "We respect your request not to show your face and to alter your voice... In addition, I am telling the viewers that we did not film in your house. What is your story, dear sister?" 

Prisoner's wife: "It's not just me, this problem, many of the prisoners' wives and children suffer from it, from the transfer of his salary, the prisoner's salary (Arabic: Ma'ash)... My husband is sentenced [to prison] and I have five children." 

Journalist Roba Al-Najjar: "Until when is your husband sentenced? We wish him freedom, Allah willing." 

Prisoner's wife: "About eight years. It's already a year I suffer greatly, because he transferred the salary (Ma'ash), that is the allowance (Mukhassas), to his family." 

Journalist Roba Al-Najjar: "You have five children. How old is the oldest?" 

Prisoner's wife: "17 and a half." 

Journalist Roba Al-Najjar: "And the youngest?" 

Prisoner's wife: "Seven years." 

Journalist Roba Al-Najjar: "When did he transfer the power of attorney for the allowance (Mukhassas) [to his family]? How long after his arrest?" 

Prisoner's wife: "It's been four years. At first I did not have it [power of attorney] and later on I had it. After that, it was transferred to a different person. That other person is from his family. There are conditions, that is, when they send me money... They delay [the money] and make excuses: 'Today, tomorrow...' It's hard for me and I suffer greatly. I tried to work." 

Issa Karake, Minister of Prisoners' Affairs: "It makes no sense that a free and noble nation will abandon the families of the victims, the families of the fighters, without a provider and without standing beside them so that they can live with dignity and pride..." 

Journalist Roba Al-Najjar: "Do you know what your husband's allowance (Arabic: mukhassas) was?" 

Prisoner's wife: "Don't know." 

Journalist Roba Al-Najjar: "You have no idea?" 

Prisoner's wife: "I have no idea." 

Journalist Roba Al-Najjar: "How much money does your husband's family send you each month?" 

Prisoner's wife: "Each month they send two checks. Sometimes it's as my husband tells them: 'Transfer this' and sometimes, depending on the circumstances, that is, he decides in a phone conversation... They made me feel that 'this isn't yours'. That is, enough, I don't want it [the money], now I don't want to receive what he sent." 

Journalist Roba Al-Najjar: "What do they say, what do they tell you?" 

Prisoner's wife: "I feel like they're doing me a favor..." 

PA Minister Issa Karake: "Some of the prisoners are not aware, some of the prisoners are influenced by the social situation and social problems in the family. We try the best we can to distance the prisoner from these problems, and we speak with all family members..." 

Prisoner's wife: "I went to the Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs and told them my problem. They told me: 'We cannot do anything unless he personally transfers it to you.'" 

Journalist Roba Al-Najjar: "In other words, for nearly four years, the prisoner's allowance from the Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs and the official institutions has not reached your hands and your children's hands... Did it ever happen, for example, that one of the months, they didn't send you [anything]?" 

Prisoner's wife: "[For] almost a year." 

Journalist Roba Al-Najjar: "A whole year?" 

Prisoner's wife: "Yes, some months, if I add them up - approximately  

a year and a half they didn't send [it] as a means of pressure." 

Journalist Roba Al-Najjar: "Do you send him a message with your children during their visits or when you are able to visit your husband: 'Our situation is such and such, and we suffer, please return the power of attorney to me?'" 

Prisoner's wife: "Yes, I asked many times, and I myself told him this before. He told me: 'If you do what I want, it will return to you. As long as you are like this, it won't return to you.'' [...] 

Journalist interviewing Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Karake: "Can we speak candidly Mr. Issa [Minister of Prisoners' Affairs], about the issue of transferring the power of attorney? We know that legally the prisoner has the right to give the power of attorney to a family member that he considers suitable..." 

PA Minister Issa Karake: "In the past few years, there have been social problems and the current procedure in the Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs is that the prisoner determines who has the power of attorney. We decided that this will be on condition that the person with the power of attorney must be a first-degree relative. Meaning that if he is married, the wife [is given the power of attorney]; and if he is unmarried, the mother or father. If the mother or father is deceased, it is transferred to the brother or sister. If the wife has passed away, [the power of attorney goes] to the son, i.e., it stays among first-degree relatives. But the criteria - it is the prisoner himself who gives the power of attorney, by means of the International Red Cross or through an attorney by means of a power of attorney [form] signed by him, in which he gives the power of attorney to whomever he wants from within this group - first-degree relatives - to receive his monetary allowances." 

Journalist Roba Al-Najjar: "Did you try to turn to the authorities?" [...] 

Prisoners' Wife: "A year and a half ago, I went to the Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs, and to the Prisoners' Club... Their answer was: 'Your husband transfers it to the person he wants. It's in his power not to transfer [it to you] and we can't do anything about it."" 

PA Minister Issa Karake: "Problems occur, that is, this is natural. This is a large sector, a very large sector in our society. When we are presented with this kind of a problem, we first of all clarify things with the prisoner himself, try to understand the family's situation and the nature of the dispute, the nature of the problem." 

Journalist Roba Al-Najjar: "Mr. Issa, can I understand from your words that transferring the power of attorney is included in the Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs' legal authority, to interfere in a decisive manner? I mean, that it is not the prisoner's absolute right." 

PA Minister Issa Karake: "In principle, this is the prisoner's right, but we are looking into it. If the request to transfer the power of attorney to another person is illogical or is not objective, we don't approve it." 

Journalist Roba Al-Najjar: "Can we understand from your words that if, for example, this mother will come to you -" 

PA Minister Issa Karake: "I will change this. This is an injustice!" 

Journalist Roba Al-Najjar: "I delivered a letter to Issa Karake, Minister of Prisoners' Affairs, and he in turn studied your problem in detail, and decided to transfer the power of attorney for the salary [ma'ash] back to you." 

[Official PA TV, Feb. 17, 2013, April 17, 2014] 

PA terror salaries - Under Palestinian Authority law, the PA pays thousands of terrorist prisoners monthly salaries from the day of their arrest. The PA also provides salaries and various grants and benefits to released terrorists. Moreover, the PA pays wounded terrorists and the families of dead terrorist "Martyrs" monthly allowances. Palestinian Media Watch has exposed and documented this PA practice for over a decade, and in doing so has brought about change in and cancellation of Western funding to the PA. 

Fawaz Ba’arah – Palestinian terrorist and member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades (Fatah’s military wing) who was involved in a number of lethal attacks during the second Intifada (2000-2005 PA terror campaign, more than 1,100 Israelis murdered) – PMW was unable to determine the specific attacks he was involved in. Ba’arah was arrested in 2004 and is serving 3 life sentences and an additional 35 years. He has been diagnosed with cancer. 

The interview with the daughter was made when the official PA TV program Giants of Endurance visited terrorist prisoner Fawaz Ba’arah’s family’s house in Nablus.