Defending his practice of funding terror, Abbas accused Netanyahu of using racist terminology by referring to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails as terrorists, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, in a message delivered to the prestigious annual Herzliya conference, accused Netanyahu of using “racist rhetoric” for labeling Palestinian terrorists imprisoned in Israel – most of whom had committed or supported acts of terror – as terrorists.
In a prepared speech delivered by the PA leader’s foreign-policy adviser, the Jerusalem Post reported, Nabil Sha’ath told the audience:
“Eight hundred thousand Palestinians have been detained in Israeli prisons since the occupation of 1967 and close to one million since 1948. Is any rational human being going to claim that these one million people are terrorists? That one-third of Palestinians are terrorists because they have been through Israeli jails. It’s really quite frankly racist rhetoric to call all our political prisoners terrorists.”
Abbas also defended paying salaries to prisoners and their families. Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump have demanded that he stop that practice.
“Payments to support families are a social responsibility to look after innocent people affected by the incarceration or killing of their loved ones,” Abbas responded.
Defying US Pressure to End Terror Funding
He continued to defend paying salaries to terrorists and their families even after a tense meeting in Ramallah with senior Trump administration officials who demanded his stop that practice.
In early May, Sha’ath referred to President Donald Trump’s request for the PA to cease payments to prisoners and their families as a “crazy” request.
“Can we demand that the Israeli government stop paying the soldiers of the Israeli army?” Sha’ath asked Israel Radio rhetorically. Sha’ath also claimed that such a demand was intended to destroy the peace process between the PA and Israel, and that the prisoners were victims of an “occupation.”
At a ceremony in May on Israel’s Memorial Day for terror victims and IDF soldiers, Netanyahu noted that the PA spends at least $300 million annually on terrorists imprisoned in Israel or their family members, totaling approximately $1 billion over the past few years.
By: World Israel News