TEL AVIV — The Palestinian Authority plans to continue paying the salaries of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, which includes convicted terrorists, according to Dr. Nabil Shath, a senior adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
“The Palestinian leadership won’t give in to American threats to end aid to the Palestinians and we will continue to pay the salaries of the prisoners no matter what they threaten,” said Shath, Abbas’ adviser for international affairs.
According to Shath, as far as the Palestinian Authority is concerned, “The prisoners are heroes and we have a responsibility toward them and their families.”
Shath warned against the implications of the possible decision of the American government to end financial aid to the Palestinian Authority, saying that it would harm the U.S.’s ability for fulfill its role in the political process.
Shath’s comments were made regarding initiatives in Congress to end American financial aid to the Palestinian Authority if it continues to pay the salaries of the Palestinian terrorist prisoners.
In response to pressure from Israel and the American administration, the Palestinian Authority says it reduced the salaries being paid to the Palestinian prisoners a few months ago. Some payments were ended completely while others were recategorized as welfare and given in reduced payments from the Welfare Ministry.
This action resulted in anger among the Palestinian public and protests were held across the Palestinian territories, forcing the PA to return to paying the salaries of most of the prisoners.
A family member of Ahmad A.R., a Palestinian prisoner from the Nablus region, told Breitbart Jerusalem that the Palestinian Authority renewed the payments in recent months to his cousin who was sentenced to 13 years in Israeli prison, accused of shooting at an Israeli vehicle on one of the highways in the Nablus area during the Intifada.
The family member of A.R., who spoke on condition that his last name be initialized, further stated, “As far as we’re concerned the Americans and the Israelis can go f**k themselves. We’re talking about a hero, like all the heroes in the prisons. These are young men who lost the best years of their lives and this is the minimum that the PA can do to compensate the prisoner’s family. In any case, we’re very proud of Ahmad.”