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June 14, 2017 11:46 am

Israel and PA Rebuff US Claim That Palestinians Will Stop Terror Payments

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President Donald Trump (left) and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (center) in Bethlehem, May 23. Photo: Shealah Craighead/White House. – Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) both rebuffed US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s claim that the PA will no longer pursue its policy of paying the families of convicted terrorists.

“I have to say that I didn’t see any indication that the Palestinian Authority stopped or intends to stop payments to terrorists and terrorists’ families,” Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Kan Radio on Wednesday.

Issa Qaraqe, head of prisoner affairs for the PA, said he knows “the allowances [to terrorists’ families] were paid this month, and they will be next month too.”

“I have no information that they won’t be paid to the prisoners and families who receive them, based on the clear, known parameters under Palestinian law,” Qaraqe added, Haaretz reported.

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Tillerson had declared the purported change in PA policy on Tuesday, during a public hearing with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee concerning budget changes at the State Department.

“[The PA has] changed that policy and their intent is to cease the payments to the families of those who have committed murder or violence against others,” Tillerson said, adding that the change came in response to pressure applied by President Donald Trump last month during his meeting with PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem.

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