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PA gives dignified life grant to 5,000 released prisoners

Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik  |
As the US pledged $148 million to the PA,
the PA pledged $15 million to released prisoners

PA Dignified Life Grant, primarily to freed terrorists,
will be "15 million American dollars" in 2013
but is conditioned on "availability of funds"

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

The Palestinian Authority has announced that it plans to give 5,000 released security prisoners who served more than 5 years in Israeli prisons a Dignified Life Grant. The Head of the Statistics Department of the Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs, Abd Al-Nasser Farwaneh, said that the amount distributed would be "15 million American dollars." The PA's intention to use "American dollars" for released security prisoners, most of whom are convicted terrorists, was reported by the official PA daily the very same day that the US announced it was giving the PA "$148 million" - "American dollars" - for the PA's general budget.

In addition to the Dignified Life Grant payments, the PA continues to use its budget to fund other terror promotion activities. As Palestinian Media Watch has reported, these PA activities include glorifying terrorists, paying terrorists monthly salaries while in prison and paying them salaries following their release.

Last week, France also signed an agreement with the PA, pledging €9 million (almost $12 million) in aid directly to the PA's general budget.

The PA also announced that the "15 million American dollars" to be given to the released prisoners in 2013 is dependent on "availability of funds." The $148 million donated by the US to the PA general budget along with other funding from European donors is what makes this "15 million dollars" "available" and facilitates the PA's payment of grants to terrorists.

According to US law, no American aid money to the PA can be allocated to "terrorists" or "former terrorists."

PMW reported on Sunday that the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, which is also funded by the PA's budget, actively incites hatred against the US. According to the PA daily, the US is behind the turmoil and killings in Syria and other Arab countries, and views the killing of Syrian civilians as a means to promote American political interests in the region.

The following are the reports on the PA's Dignified Life Grant to released prisoners and the US pledge of $148 million to the PA general budget:

"Released prisoners swarm to the Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs building in Gaza to register for the Dignified Life Grant, that the Ministry announced it intends to distribute to improve their lives.
Since the announcement of the grant, the hopes of thousands of released prisoners expected to benefit from the grant were renewed. Head of the Statistics Department of the Ministry [of Prisoners' Affairs], Abd Al-Nasser Farwaneh said that there is a stream of released prisoners going to the Ministry's building in Gaza, which belong to the PA, to register their names to receive the Dignified Life Grant, which is expected to begin next month [September]... He noted that there is also a stream [of released prisoners] to the Red Cross offices to obtain a document confirming they were imprisoned by the occupation's forces.
He expected the number of released prisoners who will register to receive the grant will reach approximately 5,000 prisoners who were imprisoned for over five years. He confirmed that the first group of released prisoners will be able to receive the Dignified Life Grant next month and explained that payment will depend on availability of funds.
Farwaneh noted that prisoners who have received the grant in the past will not be able to receive it this time and that the intention is to deduct [from the grant] any sum previously received by a prisoner from the Ministry or Presidency.
He said that the amount allotted for 2013 is approximately 15 million American dollars."
[Al-Ayyam, Aug. 19, 2013]

Headline: "The US contributed 148 million dollars as aid to the PA's budget"
"Yesterday morning [Aug. 18, 2013] [PA] Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and the American Government represented by Consul General of the United States Michael Ratney, signed an agreement of the transfer of 148 million dollars in financial aid to the PA's budget... Hamdallah 'thanked the Government of the United States and its people for this aid, which has been received for the second time this year.' He said that the first [financial] aid was given in February [2013] in the amount of '200 million dollars to the state's coffers.' Hamdallah said: 'We need another 600 million dollars by the end of this year [2013] so that we will be able to cover current expenses, which include the private sector's salaries and expenses. We hope to receive aid from our friends and financers so that we will be able to reach this sum.' [The Consul General of the United States Michael Ratney] added: 'The US has given a total sum of 4.3 billion dollars in [financial] aid over the past twenty years, 1.3 billion of it was direct budgetary aid.'"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 19, 2013]

Headline: "[PA Prime Minister Rami] Hamdallah and [French Foreign Minister Laurent] Fabius sign two [aid] agreements totaling 24 million Euros"
"Yesterday [Aug. 24, 2013] the Palestinian government and the French government signed two agreements according to which Paris will provide the PA with financial aid of close to 24 million Euros... The value of the two aid agreements is 23,750,000 Euros out of which 9 million Euros are direct aid to the Palestinian treasury and 14,750,000 Euros for a solid waste treatment project in the Gaza Strip. [PA Prime Minister] Hamdallah expressed his appreciation of the aid delivered by the Government of France to the Palestinian budget, state institutions and our people's just cause."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 25, 2013]