Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, before receiving a request from President Donald Trump last week to stop paying stipends to Palestinian terrorists and their families, had ruled out halting that PA policy.
Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), citing an April 29 report in the independent Palestinian news website Amad, reported Monday that PA Prisoners’ Affairs Committee leader Issa Qaraqe had announced Abbas’s “absolute refusal of the Israeli demands to stop the allowances of the families of the prisoners and martyrs, and emphasized his absolute support for [the terror stipends].”
After Trump’s May 3 meeting with Abbas, senior PA official Nabil Shaath also unequivocally rejected the American president’s request to end the PA’s policy of paying the terror stipends, calling the proposal “insane.”
According to PMW, the Palestinian refusal to end the terror payments is based on the PA’s determination that Palestinian prisoners are not terrorists, but “freedom fighters,” and are therefore being rightfully rewarded. The PA also claims the stipends are “social welfare for the families.” Yet PMW reported that the wife of a Palestinian security prisoner “complained that she and her children were not receiving the prisoner’s salary,” to which the PA “responded that although the prisoner should have given the money to his wife and children, the minister [of prisoners’ affairs] could not force him to since it was his personal salary.”