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Head of Martyrs’ families org describes history of alllowances to Martyrs' families, as well as additional benefits they receive

    "Secretary-General of the National Association of the Families of the Martyrs of Palestine Muhammad Sbeihat said yesterday [April 24, 2013] that the government of Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad has treated the Martyrs’ (Shahids’) families in the homeland and the Diaspora with unprecedented justice and that their monthly allowances have been significantly increased during his term of office. […] Likewise, he described the conditions experienced by the Martyrs’ families since the establishment of the PA until the present, and said: ‘There is a general Palestinian consensus on the official and popular levels regarding the need to take care of the Martyrs’ families and other fighting sectors, such as wounded, prisoners, and their families. This means primarily to provide everything necessary for a dignified life, particularly on the material level and in the areas of health, education, secure housing, etc.

Medical insurance
[...] He explained that in the area of health, the Martyrs’ families now enjoy an insurance that is considered reasonable, despite a number of faults it suffers from in everything regarding the families of married Martyrs, as this insurance includes the Martyr’s wife and sons, but only includes his parents in exceptional cases.

The field of education
In the field of education, Sbeihat noted that the Martyrs’ sons, daughters, and wives are entitled to a full exemption from university fees for a first degree, and that is a mechanism which he considers reasonable, but in need of development in order to include the following stages of education, such as a second degree and doctorate, and to include the Martyrs’ families in the Diaspora, and not only the families living within the homeland.

Regarding the monetary allowances, Sbeihat said: ‘Here there was the real disaster which required that we wage active organizational battles over the years, as the average monthly allowance for a single Martyr’s family at the beginning of the 90s ranged from 200 to 300 shekels, especially if he did not have military rank. At the same time, the family of a married Martyr in the same period received 400 to 700 shekels, according to the number of family members.’
He added that this situation created a great deal of emotional frustration among the Martyrs’ families, in addition to the disgraceful financial situation in which they lived, especially the wives and children of the Martyrs’ families, which pushed some of their children to leave their studies and go to work. […]
He continued: ‘…We say that Dr. Salam Fayyad’s term of office as Prime Minister and in the Ministry of Finance was a period during which the conditions of the Martyrs’ families began to significantly improve, and attention was directed to the conditions of the Martyrs’ families in the refugee camps in the Diaspora.’  Sbeihat noted that Fayyad agreed to increase the Martyrs’ families’ allowances at the end of 2007, in other words a number of months after he was appointed prime minister, so that the average allowance to a single Martyr’s family would be 650 shekels, and that of a married [Martyr] about 1,000 shekels, an increase of approximately 40 to 120 percent.

Increasing allowances again
Regarding the second time, and more precisely at the beginning of 2009, Sbeihat said: ‘Fayyad agreed to increase the allowances again, so that the minimum allowance of a single Martyr’s family would be 1,000 shekels, and the minimum allowance of a married Martyr’s family would be 1,300 shekels. Likewise, Fayyad made a decision to increase the monthly allowances a third time, in a most significant manner, and the work on that began on the first of July last year [2012].’
He emphasized that along with the decision to increase the allowances, the decision included a nice and very important gesture, giving equal treatment to families within the homeland and in the [refugee] camps in the Diaspora, for the first time in the history of the PA.
He added: ‘The allowances of some of the Martyrs’ families in the refugee camps in Lebanon and Syria were between $40 and $70, and in comparison, in the new system of payment, the allowances of most of the Martyrs’ families in the Diaspora were multiplied by seven or eight as the basic allowance of a Martyrs’ family in the Diaspora increased to $350, and this is in addition to supplements for a wife, children, and military rank, if such exist.’ […]
He added that in the last additions the focus was on the families of the married Martyrs who left behind wives and children, which is very logical, and clarified that the wife of a Martyr who supports four children, and who received 1,500 shekels in the past, now receives an allowance of 2,600 Israeli shekels a month. He explained that the prime minister’s last decision included an increase in the allowances of the wounded, who in the past received very low allowances, and now their situation is relatively similar to that of Martyrs’ families. He noted that all the annual additions to the families of Martyrs and the wounded in the homeland and in the Diaspora, according to Fayyad’s last decision, are more than 74 million dollars a year.
Likewise he reviewed the last decision issued by Fayyad regarding the increase in the allowances of the families of the Martyrs and the wounded in the homeland and the Diaspora, which determined that the allowance of a Martyr’s family would be increased to 1,400 shekels, or an equivalent sum in dollars, in addition to the 400 shekel supplement for a wife, or an equivalent sum in dollars, and a 200 shekel supplement for children or an equivalent sum in dollars, for each son or daughter.

Supplement for children
He added: ‘This decision includes the payment of a supplement for children until they reach the age of 18, and the supplement continues for children who are studying, until the end of their first degree or until they reach the age of 26, whichever comes first. Likewise, the supplement continues for an unmarried daughter who does not work, and for handicapped children who prove that they cannot provide for themselves. The allowance will be paid to every Martyr’s family from the day of his death as a Martyr, and payment will begin on the date the Martyr’s file is approved.
The decision included [the fact] that the approval of the Martyr and wounded file will be carried out by the Institute For the Care of Families of Martyrs and the Wounded, in accordance with the laws and regulations that it issues. Likewise, a special monthly supplement of 300 shekels or its equivalent in dollars would be paid to the families of Martyrs and wounded from Jerusalem and the interior (i.e., Israel). If the Martyr had a number of wives, each one would receive her share of the allowance based on the full basic allowance, in addition to supplements that appear in this decision…

Allowances for the wounded
The eighth clause of this decision deals with the payment to the wounded of a percentage of the allowance paid to the Martyrs’ families, according to the degree of disability, so that a wounded with 75 percent disability or more will receive a full allowance, a wounded with 50 – 74 percent disability will receive 75 percent of the allowance, and a wounded with 40 – 49 percent disability will receive 50 percent of the allowance. At the same time, the death allowance abroad will be increased by the fixed sum of $50 a month. According to the ninth clause, a special one-time grant of 6,000 Israeli shekels, or the equivalent amount in dollars will be paid to each Martyr’s family, after his Martyrdom."