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Another form of PA support for prisoners: PA helped pay prisoners’ fines

     “This past June 1 [2013] the Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs put into effect its decision to stop paying fines imposed by the occupation on the Palestinian prisoners. The explanation provided was that this increases the occupation state’s funds. Some believe this decision was made due to the financial crisis in the State of Palestine but serious discussions of the matter began in 2007…
The highest fines were in 2004, 2005 and 2006 and their total amount was over five million shekels per year. The Ministry [of Prisoners’ Affairs] paid the largest part while the prisoners’ families paid the remainder. In many cases, as part of his sentence, one prisoner‘s [fines] can amount to 15-20 thousand shekels. According to the Ministry’s estimates, the prisoners’ families have paid between 50%-60% of the fines’ total amount.
According to statistical data on the matter, the Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs paid the fines as follows:
- In 2008 the Ministry paid the sum of 4 million shekels.
- In 2009 [the Ministry] paid 3,683,950 shekels for 1731 fines. The remainder, over 3 million shekels, was paid by the prisoners’ families.
- In 2010 [the Ministry] paid 1,151,550 shekels for 479 fines and the prisoners’ families paid the remainder, over 3 million shekels.
- In 2011 [the Ministry] paid 1,863,250 shekels for 762 fines and the prisoners’ families paid over two million shekels.
- In 2012 the Ministry paid 2.5 million shekels.
- In 2013 the total sum of the fines amounted to over 13 million shekels. This includes traffic violations and [fines for] workers without permits who are arrested by Israel and brought before a court-martial in the Beitunia prison (i.e., Ofer prison) or the Salem court-martial.
It should be noted that over a decade ago, specifically after the 2002 strike, the Israeli prison service decided to fine the prisoners with high fines ranging from 500-1,000 shekels deducted from the prisoners’ canteen [fees] on the pretext that they had broken prison regulations and rules. […]
The Israeli military’s Civil Administration claims that these sums are returned as projects [serving the prisoners], however the reality is quite different, since they are used for projects in the settlements and for settling purposes, such as paving roads and [covering] the costs of raids and arrests conducted by the Israeli army to protect the settlement and the settlers.”