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PA officials: Imprisoned terrorists are ‎‎“soldiers of the PA” and receive ‎salaries, they should receive higher ‎salaries

Headline: “729,000 dollars distributed to ‎families of prisoners whose homes were ‎demolished”‎
     ‎“The committee appointed by President ‎Yasser Arafat for [distributing] ‎compensations to families of prisoners ‎whose homes were demolished, finished ‎distributing the checks to the families. ‎There are approximately 140 families from ‎the West Bank districts, the [Gaza] Strip, ‎and occupied Jerusalem. Yesterday, [Jan. ‎‎18, 2000] Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs, ‎Hisham Abdul Razek met with members of ‎the Parliamentary Education and Social ‎Affairs Committee and informed them that ‎the [compensation] committee had ‎finished transferring the checks to those ‎entitled to them last week and added that ‎the total sum [of the distributed money] is ‎approximately 729,000 US dollars. He ‎elaborated and said that every prisoner ‎from Jerusalem whose home was ‎demolished received 7,000 dollars and ‎every prisoner from the West Bank or ‎Gaza Strip whose home was demolished ‎received 5,000 dollars. He said that there ‎are seven prisoners from Jerusalem and ‎the rest are from the West Bank and Gaza ‎Strip… And in a different context, ‎‎[minister] Abdul Razek explained that ‎the Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs ‎considers anyone detained [in Israel] a ‎soldier of the PA and therefore and ‎accordingly, every prisoner is entitled to ‎the full rights of an ordinary soldier in ‎the [nation’s] service, including a salary ‎starting at 900 shekels. Head of the ‎Education Committee and member of ‎Parliament, Abbas Zaki asserted that the ‎prisoners should not be considered ‎only as [simple] soldiers and demanded ‎that they be awarded higher salaries ‎and military ranks – so that the Israeli ‎prison management would not treat ‎them as no more than simple soldiers.”‎