PA Minister Defends Payments to Terrorists

Mazen Faqha

The Jerusalem Post reports: Monthly payments to families of those imprisoned for attacking Israelis contribute to stability in Palestinian society rather than encourage terrorism, the senior Palestinian official in charge of disbursing them told The Jerusalem Post Sunday.

“This assistance has never encouraged terrorism, the opposite is true,” said Issa Qaraqe, head of the commission for detainees and ex-detainees, who holds the rank of minister in the Palestinian Authority. “This social and humanitarian assistance creates a kind of stability in the Palestinian society. Cutting the assistance is what will lead to extremism.”

Qaraqe’s defense of the stipends to families of prisoners and “martyrs” came three days after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 17-4 to cut off some $300 million in annual aid to the Palestinian Authority unless what lawmakers describe as payments rewarding terrorism are halted.

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