The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has urged President Donald Trump to terminate U.S. aid to Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA) after Abbas point-blank refused calls by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the PA to cease paying salaries and stipends to Jew-killing terrorists and their families; something about which President Donald Trump expressed concern last week.
The Director of the PLO Commission of Prisoners’Affairs, Issa Karake, said in response to calls to cease funding terrorists jailed by Israel that, “The President [Abbas] emphasized his absolute refusal of the Israeli demands to stop the allowances to the families of the prisoners and Martyrs [Shahids], and emphasized his absolute support for them (i.e., for the payments)” (Amad, independent Palestinian news website, April 29, 2017, translation in Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) bulletin, ‘Abbas refuses to stop salaries to terrorists,’ May 8, 2017).
Following Abbas’ meeting with President Trump last week, senior PA/Fatah officials blatantly refused to stop paying the terrorists’ salaries:
- Fatah Deputy Chairman, Mahmoud Al-Aloul: A Palestinian news agency reported that Al-Aloul said that “the PA will reject any proposal that demands to stop taking care of the families of the Martyrs, prisoners, and injured through the transfer of monthly financial allowances. He added that this is a national cause, and that the American administration and the occupation encountered a refusal on this matter. Al-Aloul noted that the injured, Martyrs, and prisoners are Palestinian fighters, and that we must under no circumstances accede to the pressures to stop their allowances.”
- PA Minister of Justice Ali Abu Diyak: “It is not possible… to stain with terror the struggle of our people that is defending itself, its land, its holy sites, its freedom, and its just rights … The Martyrs and prisoners are the symbols of our legitimate national struggle, the conscience of our Palestinian people.”
- PLO Executive Committee member and member of the political bureau of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Tayseer Khaled: “Those whose allowances the American administration is demanding to stop are freedom fighters, and the Palestinian side cannot relate to these provocative demands. The Palestinian National Fund… takes care of the families of the Martyrs, wounded, and prisoners, and will continue to do so regardless of the positions of the Israeli government and the American administration.”
- PA Minister of Justice Ali Abu Diyak: called the terrorist prisoners “brave” and “fighters for freedom …I salute our brave prisoners … We emphasize to the world that our brave prisoners and righteous Martyrs (Shahids) are the victims of the Israeli occupation’s crimes and they are fighters for freedom, justice, and peace.”
- Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, Issa Karake, said: “We are a people that only wants its freedom. Our prisoners are not terrorists, but rather fighter heroes and prisoners of honor and freedom.”
- PA’s Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories and Chairman of the Supreme Fatwa Council Sheikh Muhammad Hussein: “Supporting the prisoners” is a “religious obligation … Sheikh Muhammad Hussein and the muftis of the districts called on the members of the Palestinian people to participate in activities supporting the Palestinian prisoners in their struggle and hunger strike … They said that this is a religious obligation in which everyone must take part” (Translations in PMW bulletin, ‘Abbas refuses to stop salaries to terrorists,’ May 8, 2017).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We have here a blatant rejection of of the elementary, international demand that the PA cease glorifying, incentivizing, inciting and supporting terrorism by ceasing payments to the multiple murderers who carry it out.
“This PA refusal not only shows that PA statements to the effect that it does not support terrorism, that it nurtures its public on a ‘culture of peace’ –– as Abbas personally lied to President Trump last week –– are simply blatant falsehoods.
“Abbas’ PA yet again has proved that it revels in terrorism, will not disown it or condemn it, and that it represents movement that is umbilically attached to the murder and maiming of Israeli civilians.
“It is therefore important that the Trump Administration draw the appropriate conclusions when its representations for an end to financing incitement, terrorism and terrorists are willfully and blatantly rejected, and the administration cease handing US-taxpayer funds to what was and remains a pro-terror, anti-peace regime.”