The British and Norwegian governments are refuting reports by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) showing they contribute funds to salaries given to thousands of Palestinian terrorists imprisoned in Israeli jails, despite the fact that the Palestinian Authority has admitted the truth of that claim.
Britain’s Minister of State in the country’s Department for International Development (DfID) Alan Duncan said that “the second [PA] payment scheme [to prisoners] is intended to assist families in need of assistance.” Both the British and Norwegian governments say they received this information directly from the PA.
But recently, the PA Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs, Issa Karake, corroborated PMW’s original claim, stating that the reference to the prisoners’ “salaries” as social “assistance” was a false “rumor.” The prisoners are supported “out of esteem for their sacrifice and struggle,” he also said.
According to PMW, Palestinian terrorists who spend more than five years in Israeli prisons will continue receiving money even after their release. More than 4,000 now receive such permanent full monthly salaries. After the UK and Norway inquired about this, the PA admitted that its law originally stated it was paying “salaries”—called “ratib.” After the inquiry they changed the wording to “assistance”—“la’ana.”
“It is true that in some cases, payments will go to families of those who have committed the sort of crime that we utterly condemn. We believe however that it would be wrong to punish innocent children and dependent family members by denying them access to social support,” Duncan said.
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