Palestinian official Issa Qaraqi slammed Israel’s “piracy and theft” of stipends paid out to terrorists and condemned the Israeli law as “blackmail.”
By: World Israel News Staff
Palestinians have launched a “national campaign” to counter an Israeli law that deducts payments made by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to Palestinian terrorists and their families from Palestinian tax revenues collected by Israel.
The PA has dedicated a significant portion of its budget to directly incentivize the murder of Israelis through stipends to terrorists and their families.
In its 2018 budget, the PA increased the funding and allocated $360 million to the Prisoners and Martyrs fund, which disperses payment to imprisoned terrorists, released terrorists and the families of dead terrorists.
The Jerusalem Post reported that the campaign was launched Tuesday in Ramallah by representatives of various Palestinian groups and relatives of Palestinian terrorists incarcerated in Israeli prisons and “martyrs,” terrorists killed in action.
Organizers of the campaign said its objective is to thwart the Israeli law passed last month through a series of activities in the press and social media. The Palestinians are also planning to send letters to diplomatic missions in Ramallah explaining the supposed dangers of the Israeli move.
Issa Qaraqi, head of the Palestinian Commission for Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners and one of the leaders of the campaign, stated that the drive was directed against Israel’s “piracy and theft” of the stipends paid out to terrorists.
Condemning the Israeli law as “blackmail,” Qaraqi said that “all the racist laws approved by Israel stemmed from apartheid.” He added that “nothing will discourage our people from supporting those who made sacrifices for the Palestinian cause.”
Qaraqi urged the international community to “assume its responsibilities towards this Israeli crime against the Palestinians.”
Senior Fatah official Jamal Muheissen said in a speech that the campaign would continue until Israel backtracks on its decision.
He said that the campaign was also aimed at expressing Palestinian opposition to the “conspiracy that is being concocted against the Palestinians by the US administration and the extremist government of Netanyahu.”
Kadoura Fares, a senior Fatah official and head of the Palestinian Prisoners Club, said during the rally in Ramallah that the Israeli law was aimed at “undermining the Palestinians’ spirit of resistance.”
The Palestinians have “no choice but to devise a new strategy based on comprehensive resistance against the occupation because Israel is confronting us with a strategy of its own,” he asserted.
PA head Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly pledged to continue the payments to the Palestinian terrorists and their families despite the Israeli decision.
“We won’t allow anyone to interfere with the money,” he said. “They are our martyrs and prisoners and the injured, and we will continue to pay them. We started the payments in 1965.”