Abbas’ Palestinian Authority Paid The Salaries Of Kidnappers Of Israeli Soldier
June 11, 2007

PA pays pensions to
kidnappers’ families

New York – Palestinian sources have revealed that Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA), which controls PA revenue and receives international funds, paid the salaries of the terrorists who in June 2006 kidnapped the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier, Corporal Gilad Schalit. In March, it was revealed by the Jerusalem Post’s senior Palestinian affairs analyst, Khaled Abu Toameh, that the funds for those on the PA payroll come from the Abbas’ presidential office. The PA Finance Minister, Hamas’ Samir Abu Aisheh, disclosed, “The President’s Office is actually functioning as the Palestinian Finance Ministry” (Jerusalem Post, March 13; Haaretz, March 13).

Now, according to another detailed report by Toameh, two of the suspected kidnappers, Muhammad Azmi Farawneh and Majdi Tayseer Hammad, were on the payroll of the PA. Farawneh is believed to have played a key role in the abduction of Schalit while Hammad was the commander of the Nasser Salah Eddin Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) — one of the groups that claimed responsibility for the Schalit kidnapping. Both men were subsequently killed in targeted Israeli military strikes ( Jerusalem Post, June 10).

Palestinian legislation, which was signed into law by Abbas in December 2005, approved grants to the families of dead terrorists (‘martyrs”). The PA has also been paying salaries to thousands of Fatah gunmen belonging to its terror wing, the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. The majority of these gunmen are registered as members of various branches of the PA security forces, particularly the General Intelligence, Force 17 and the Preventive Security Service. But until now it was not common knowledge that members of the terrorist group, the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), had also been receiving salaries from the PA. The PRC specializes in rocket and mortar attacks upon Israel from Gaza and also carries out other bombings and shooting attacks. The PRC is an alliance of various armed factions in the Gaza Strip, including Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The group was also behind the roadside bomb attack that killed three U.S. security guards in the northern Gaza Strip in 2003.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “Here is yet a further example among many of Mahmoud Abbas’ continuing support for the terrorism which he purports to denounce in his English-language statements. Only two weeks ago, the ZOA referred to the fact that Khaled Shawish, a senior terrorist commander in Abbas’ Fatah, who is responsible for the murder of 19 Israelis and, had been sheltered since 2002 in Abbas’ presidential compound (the Muqata) in Ramallah.

“But then Abbas is no moderate anti-terrorist peace seeker. In addition to numerous other anti-peace, pro-terror actions and words, Abbas, after all, is the man who co-founded the terrorist group Fatah with Yasser Arafat and was his deputy for 40 years. He funded the Munich massacre. He wrote a Ph.D. thesis and a book denying the Holocaust. As president of the PA, Abbas said ‘it is our duty to implement the principles of Yasser Arafat.’ He has refused to implement the signed Oslo agreements and the 2003 Roadmap peace plan which requires him to fight, arrest, extradite and jail terrorists and confiscate their weaponry and end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that feeds it. He has formed a unity government with the terrorist movement, Hamas, which calls in its Charter for the destruction of Israel (Article 15) and the murder of Jews (article 7). That has not stopped governments around the world and the Bush Administration backing Abbas as though he were a force for moderation and peace.

“The ZOA has described this approach as divorced from reality and we again urge President Bush, who describes himself as ‘the best friend that Israel ever had,’ to cease supporting and funding Mahmoud Abbas and the PA terror regime. This policy not only harms Israel but also American interests and in particular the President’s war on terror, which is predicated on the idea that one cannot promote and sponsor terrorism and be a U.S. ally. The revelations regarding the terrorists and kidnappers on Abbas’ payroll are a useful reminder of the terrorist sponsorship of Mahmoud Abbas and the PA.”

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