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Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners ‎complain that PA only paid grants to PLO ‎prisoners

Al-Jazeera website (Arabic)  |
      “Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners released as part of the prisoner exchange with Israel, which has been named ‘the Shalit deal’, are complaining of deductions from the salaries they receive from the Palestinian Authority…

The PA has withheld payment of the Dignified Life Grant to Hamas and Jihad prisoners released into the Gaza Strip as part of the deal made in October 2011. [The grant is] $2,000 for every year spent in prison, but in Gaza it [the PA] has paid it to PLO-affiliated prisoners [exclusively]. The head of the Prisoners’ and Released [Prisoners’] Union, released prisoner Tawfiq Abu Na’im said that prisoners from Hamas and the Islamic Jihad released in the [Shalit] deal did not receive the same treatment [as did] prisoners from the PLO released as part of the same deal…

He told Al-Jazeera.net that the PA made deductions from salaries paid to Hamas and Jihad prisoners in Gaza with no prior warning and with no justification, and also unfairly suspended salaries of other [released prisoners] from the two organizations. Abu Na’im explained that Hamas and Jihad prisoners had not received the Dignified Life Grant paid to their brothers from the PLO, and he accused the PA of discriminating between prisoners on the basis of each one’s organizational affiliation. He noted that before turning to the media, they had contacted senior Fatah officials and presented demands to President Mahmoud Abbas that they and their brothers from PLO factions be treated as equals, but to no avail.

Deputy Chairman of the Waed Union for Prisoners and Released [Prisoners] Majdi Hammad said that the Hamas and Jihad prisoners released in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit had been assigned to different [units] of the national security system and had received military ranks, but later were surprised by the system’s refusal [to accept them], and at being sent back to work in the Ministry of Prisoners’ [Affairs] with reduced salaries and no benefits…

Speaking to Al-Jezeera.net, Hammad demanded of the PA to behave toward Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners as it does to their colleagues the PLO prisoners. He noted that many suspect that what is happening [now] is the introductory step of a PA process designed to end salary payments to prisoners from both movements.

The head of the statistics department of the PA’s Ministry for Prisoners’ Affairs [Abd Al-Nasser Farawneh] said that the Dignified Life Grant for Hamas and Jihad prisoners in Gaza had not been paid because of the internal rift [between the PA and the Hamas government in Gaza], but had been paid to prisoners from the two movements in the West Bank…
Abd Al-Nasser Farawneh told Al-Jazeera.net that the financial deductions from the salaries of a few prisoners this month are justified, since they had received two salaries in one month (May 2012) [parenthesis in source], and the Ministry of Finance intended to deduct these amounts gradually…

Farawneh explained that the prisoners’ cause must remain unrelated to internal bickering, and that there should be no discrimination between prisoners on any basis other than the years they spent in prison. He noted that a decision has been made to pay the Dignified Life Grant to all prisoners, but [that decision] has yet to be implemented.”

Note: In October 2011, the Israeli government agreed to release 1,027 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prison in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who had been held hostage by Hamas for more than 5 years.
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