TEL AVIV – The recent appointment of a jailed terrorist to a senior position in Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party is proof that salaries to terrorists and their families will not end anytime soon, a website for the party said.
Israeli monitoring group Palestinian Media Watch reported that Karim Younes, an Arab-Israeli who is currently serving a prison sentence for kidnapping and murdering an Israeli soldier in 1980 with the help of his cousin Maher Younes, was appointed to the Fatah Central Committee upon the personal recommendation of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas.
The move comes after intense pressure on the PA from the U.S. and certain European countries to stop rewarding terrorists and their families by paying them monthly stipends.
According to Fatah Central Committee member Jamal Muhaisen, the appointment of Younes sends a clear message to those countries that the acts of imprisoned terrorists, who Muhaisen refers to “our pride and the knights of the Palestinian people,” will not go unrewarded.
“The value of the decision lies in the fact that it was made at a time when pressures are being applied to [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas to stop the prisoners and martyrs’ salaries (rawatib),” Falestinona, the website of Fatah’s Information and Culture Commission in Lebanon, quoted Muhaisen as saying.
“The selection of the most veteran prisoner in the prisons [Younes] as a member of the [Fatah] Central Committee is a message to them that they should not think that one day the prisoners or Martyrs’ salaries will be stopped.”
Muhaisen added that the international community itself has on many occasions sanctioned the Palestinian right to use “any means” to fight Israel, even, according to Muhaisen, violence and terror.
Muhaisen’s remarks echo those of PLO Director of Prisoners Affairs Issa Karake who said that the appointment of Younes served as proof that “our prisoners are not terrorists.”
“I think that this is a very great and significant political response, [which says] that our prisoners are not terrorists and are not criminals. They are freedom prisoners and fighters who enjoy an important national, human and legal status among their leadership and among their Palestinian people,” Karake said.
Karim and Maher Younes have been lauded by the Palestinian Authority as role models for Palestinian children and public squares have recently been named after them.
A report presented to the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee last month revealed that more than $1 billion has been paid by the PA over the past four years to terrorists and their families.