Jul 26, 2021
JERUSALEM WEATHER

Since the commercial banks that operate in the areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority closed 35,000 bank accounts of terrorists and their families, the PA has been desperately looking for a new mechanism to continue its “Pay-for-Slay” payments. Inaugurating the new system, which uses specifically designated ATM cards and machines, the Director of the PA-funded PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Qadri Abu Bakr, explained why the PA will never stop paying the terror rewards to prisoners and their families: Because it’s “their right.”

At a press conference launching the new system, the Director of the PA-funded PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Qadri Abu Bakr explained:

“Our position regarding the payment of the salaries and allowances of the prisoners and their families is firm. This is their right, and it is anchored in all the international conventions and treaties, because our prisoners are prisoners of a liberation movement and freedom fighters. Therefore, the international agreements and treaties apply to them, and specifically the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions.”

[Facebook page of the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, July 6, 2021]

Abu Bakr added:

“Since [the start of] the Israeli threats and pressures on the banks that are active in Palestine, the position has been clear: We must continue to pay and to ensure the allowances of the prisoners and their family members.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 7, 2021]

Explaining how the new system would serve over 12,200 imprisoned and released terrorists as well as the wounded terrorists and the families of the dead terrorists, Abu Bakr noted:

“In cooperation with the Ministry of Communications, the [PA] Monetary Authority, and the Ministry of Finance, we have succeeded in reaching a simpler mechanism that protects the dignity of the prisoners and their families. Now the prisoners’ family members can receive their salaries and allowances without crowding, effort, and [wasting] a lot of time… through the ATM cards, which will be enjoyed by 5,000 prisoners and 7,200 released prisoners, in addition to the wounded and the family members of the Martyrs.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 7, 2021]

As a direct result of action taken by Palestinian Media Watch, the banks operating in the areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority closed 35,000 bank accounts of imprisoned terrorists, released terrorists, and families of dead terrorists – the so-called “Martyrs.” PMW had notified the banks that if they continued to operate these accounts and accept terror reward payments from the PA, it would violate Israeli law, exposing them to civil and criminal liability. In response to PMW’s warning, the banks closed the accounts of the terrorists.

Desperately searching for a solution to continue paying the terrorists, the PA decided to make cash payments through the PA postal service. The decision was immediately criticized by the terrorists and their families, who said that the receipt of the payments via the post offices, made them feel “like beggars.”

As Abu Bakr explained, the new system for paying the terror rewards was designed to simplify the process for the terrorists and give them the freedom to withdraw their salaries at their own convenience:

“Every prisoner or Martyr will be given an ATM card that will enable it to go and withdraw [salaries] at any time, day or night – this will make things easier for them.”

[Official PA TV News, July 6, 2021]

Expanding on the background and providing technical details, the PA Minister of Communications and IT Is’haq Sidr added:

“We have activated an entire banking mechanism here that is a cash management system that transfers data between us and the ATMs. We have installed 20 ATMs in the residential areas where the beneficiaries of these services are located, and Allah willing we will reach 30 ATMs in the coming days.”

[Official PA TV News, July 6, 2021]

Minister Sidr continued:

“The postal bank is tantamount to a limited bank. All of the owners of accounts there can enjoy its financial services – withdrawing or depositing through its ATMs, which are distributed in the various districts. All the supreme efforts that the teams of this ministry have been investing for more than two months are the least that can be done for the sake of our people, and foremost the family members of the Martyrs, the wounded, the prisoners, and their families.

Our duty is to continue working for the sake of our people in light of the sacrifices it is making to reach independence and freedom. Until that is realized, we must enable all the families – and especially the families of the prisoners, the Martyrs, and the wounded – to live in dignity. It is the prisoners’ right that we provide their families with [proper] treatment and that we appreciate them. This is a duty that is not debated, and we are proud to serve them.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 7, 2021]

The Director-General of the PA-funded PLO Families of the Martyrs and Wounded Institution, Khaled Jabarin, speaking on behalf of the wounded terrorists and the families of the dead terrorists added:

“The occupation targeted [the prisoners and the Martyrs] by attempting to prevent the arrival of their allowances and [financial] rights, by banning or threatening the Monetary Authority, the Palestinian banks, and the banks that are active in Palestine against working with these groups. The solution was that there would be a national institution that is affiliated with the [PA] government and not subordinate to the occupation’s measures, and this project that was launched today came into being.”

[Official PA TV News, July 6, 2021]

While the PA is taking extensive measures to manipulate its financial reports with the goal of hiding its payments to the terrorists and their families, the statements of Abu Bakr, Minister Sidr, and Jabarin and the measures taken by the PA to make the payments, leave no room for any doubt: The PA continues to pay salaries to imprisoned and release terrorists and allowances to the wounded terrorists and the families of the dead terrorists.

Finally, despite the claims of Abu Bakr, needless to say, there is no international convention or treaty that permits or condones the payment of rewards for acts of terror. The argument that the Third Geneva Convention applies to the imprisoned terrorists, implying that they should be seen as prisoners of war, lacks any legal basis, as recognized even by the PA’s own former Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs, Ashraf Al-Ajrami.

The following are longer excerpts of the reports mentioned above:

Official PA TV News, on the new payment mechanism for PA terror salaries through postal bank ATMs

Official PA TV newsreader: “The [PA] Ministry of Communications and IT launched the Palestinian postal bank services at 20 ATMs throughout the homeland… in order to enable the families of the Martyrs, the prisoners, and the wounded to withdraw their salaries at any time and with ease… This service was established in cooperation with the [PA] Ministry of Finance, the [PA] Ministry of Planning, the [PA] Monetary Authority, the [PLO] Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs, and the [PLO] Families of the Martyrs and Wounded Institution.”

PA Minister of Communications and IT Is’haq Sidr: “We have activated an entire banking mechanism here that is a cash management system that transfers data between us and the ATMs. We have installed 20 ATMs in the residential areas where the beneficiaries of these services are located, and Allah willing we will reach 30 ATMs in the coming days.”

Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Qadri Abu Bakr: “Every prisoner or Martyr will be given an ATM card that will enable them to go and withdraw [salaries] at any time, day or night – this will make things easier for them.”

Director-General of the PLO Families of the Martyrs and Wounded Institution Khaled Jabarin: “The occupation targeted [the prisoners and the Martyrs] by attempting to prevent the arrival of their allowances and [financial] rights, by banning or threatening the Monetary Authority, the Palestinian banks, and the banks that are active in Palestine against working with these groups (refers to the application of much of Israel’s Anti-Terror Law to the West Bank, including rendering banks liable to punishment for facilitating PA terror salaries -Ed.). The solution was that there would be a national institution that is affiliated with the [PA] government and not subordinate to the occupation’s measures, and this project that was launched today came into being.”

[Official PA TV News, July 6, 2021]

Israeli army legislation which applies parts of Israel’s 2016 Anti-Terror Law to the West Bank (taking effect on May 9, 2020).The law prohibits numerous terror related offenses, including terror funding/rewarding and holds heads of terror organizations responsible for murder committed by members of the organization. The law criminalizes the provision of funds for or the payment of rewards for the commission of terrorist offenses, such as the salaries the PA pays to terrorist prisoners and released prisoners. The provision also applies to any person or body – such as a bank – that facilitates such funding or rewarding of terror offenses. Based on this last provision, PMW sent letters in April 2020 to the heads of banks in the PA areas warning them that they must freeze the accounts of terrorists and their proxies and transfer them to the Israeli army or face legal consequences.

Headline: “The launching of the postal bank’s services and its ATMs are the method for paying the salaries of the families of the Martyrs, the prisoners, and the wounded”

“[PA] Minister of Communications and IT Dr. Is’haq Sidr launched the Palestinian postal bank services and its ATMs at 20 sites in the districts so that the families of the Martyrs, the wounded, the prisoners, and the released prisoners will be able to receive their salaries through the postal bank branches – each one in their district and by using ATM cards.

This was during the press conference that the [PA] Ministry [of Communications and IT] held yesterday, Tuesday [July 6, 2021], at the postal building in the Ramallah and El-Bireh district with the participation of Minister Sidr, [PA] Ministry of Finance Director-General of Planning and Budget Qadri Bisharat… Director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Qadri Abu Bakr, and the Khansa of Palestine Um Nasser Abu Hmeid (i.e., mother of terrorists responsible for at least 10 murders; see note below)…

Minister Sidr said: ‘The postal bank is tantamount to a limited bank. All of the owners of accounts there can enjoy its financial services – withdrawing or depositing through its ATMs, which are distributed in the various districts. All the supreme efforts that the teams of this ministry have been investing for more than two months are the least that can be done for the sake of our people, and foremost the family members of the Martyrs, the wounded, the prisoners, and their families.’

He added: ‘Our duty is to continue working for the sake of our people in light of the sacrifices it is making to reach independence and freedom. Until that is realized, we must enable all the families – and especially the families of the prisoners, the Martyrs, and the wounded – to live in dignity. It is the prisoners’ right that we provide their families with [proper] treatment and that we appreciate them. This is a duty that is not debated, and we are proud to serve them.’

Director of the Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Qadri Abu Bakr emphasized that we must act with all means and ways to support this fighting group and its families. He emphasized the resolve of the leadership’s position, which seeks to ensure the continued payment of the allowances of the prisoners and their family members, and that this is a right that is anchored for them in all the international conventions and treaties.

Abu Bakr noted that since [the start of] the Israeli threats and pressures on the banks that are active in Palestine (refers to the application of much of Israel’s Anti-Terror Law to the West Bank, including rendering banks liable to punishment for facilitating PA terror salaries -Ed.), the position has been clear: We must continue to pay and to ensure the allowances of the prisoners and their family members.

He said: ‘In cooperation with the Ministry of Communications, the [PA] Monetary Authority, and the Ministry of Finance, we have succeeded in reaching a simpler mechanism that protects the dignity of the prisoners and their families. Now the prisoners’ family members can receive their salaries and allowances without crowding, effort, and [wasting] a lot of time… through the ATM cards, which will be enjoyed by 5,000 prisoners and 7,200 released prisoners, in addition to the wounded and the family members of the Martyrs.’ …

At the end of the press conference, Minister Sidr honored Um Nasser Abu Hmeid.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 7, 2021]

Um Nasser Abu Hmeid – Palestinian woman famous and admired in the PA for being the mother of 5 terrorist prisoners serving life sentences (4 of them serving multiple life sentences), and another whom the PA refers to as a “Martyr.” Abu Hmeid is also called Khansa of Palestine, which refers to Al-Khansa from the earliest period of Islam who sent her four sons to battle and rejoiced when they all died as Martyrs. Abu Hmeid was honored by the PA in 2010 and 2015, and was chosen in 2011 to launch the PA’s statehood campaign with the UN. Her terrorist sons: Islam Yusuf Abu Hmeid, murdered 1 on May 24, 2018, and is serving life in prison and an additional 8 months; Muhammad Abu Hmeid, serving 2 life sentences and 30 years for involvement in terror attacks; Nasser Abu Hmeid, serving 7 life sentences and 50 years for murdering 7 Israeli civilians and 12 attempted murders; Nasr Abu Hmeid, serving 5 life sentences for involvement in two terror attacks in which 4 were murdered, and arms dealing; Sharif Abu Hmeid, serving 4 life sentences for involvement in terror attacks in which 4 were murdered; Abd Al-Mun’im Muhammad Yusuf Naji Abu Hmeid, murdered 1 on Feb. 13, 1994, and was killed by Israel on May 31, 1994.