JERUSALEM – The newly appointed head of the PLO Commission of Prisoners vowed to continue ensuring that terrorists and their families receive a monthly stipend. The comments come after visiting the home of a mother to seven terrorists whose family has so far received a staggering $1 million through the Palestinian Authority’s so-called pay-for-slay scheme.
A Facebook post on the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs page said that PA President Mahmoud Abbas and PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah “will make every effort for the prisoners, the released prisoners, and their families,” according to a translation by Israeli monitoring group Palestinian Media Watch.
“We must not give in to the American and Israeli pressure on all that is connected to the salaries of the Martyrs and the prisoners,” the post said.
Qadri Abu Bakr, who replaced Issa Karake as the head of the prisoners commission, visited the home of Latifa Abu Hmeid, a mother to six terrorist sons currently in Israeli prisons. Four of them were convicted of multiple counts of murder and are serving several life sentences. Another son was recently arrested and indicted for the murder of Staff Sergeant Ronen Lyubarski. The sixth son is being held in administrative detention, PMW reported. Abu Hmeid also had a seventh son who was killed resisting arrest after he murdered an Israeli.
According to the watchdog, the Abu Hmeid family has received the highest payout by the PA for terrorism, amounting to over $1,000,000.
Abu Bakr himself spent 16 years in an Israeli prison.
PMW in the past submitted a recommendation to the U.S. Treasury that Washington blacklist Issa Karake, the commission’s previous head, and deem him a “sponsor of terrorism” due to his responsibility for the terror payments. According to the report, PMW has requested the same for his successor.
Last week, at a session of the PLO, Abbas reiterated the PA’s pledge to continue its so-called “pay–for–slay” scheme rewarding terrorists and their families with monthly stipends. “Israel considers them criminals and wants them to starve to death,” he said, but the payments will continue “even if we have to cut from our flesh in order to help our people.”