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July 27, 2018 10:55 am

Abbas: ‘If We had Only a Single Penny Left, We Would Pay it to Families of the Martyrs and Prisoners’

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a meeting of the Palestinian Central Council in Ramallah, Jan. 14, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Mohamad Torokman.

JNS.org – Since Donald Trump took office, the Palestinian Authority has been pressured to stop the payments it has been making to terrorists and the families of Palestinian “martyrs.” Senior PA officials, led by President Mahmoud Abbas, totally reject this demand, and emphasize that these payments will not be stopped because they are a clear national obligation.

At an August 2017 meeting with Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner, Abbas said that he would never stop the payments to the families of prisoners, released prisoners, and martyrs — even if he was forced out of office as a result.

A month later, Abbas said in an interview with the London-based Qatari daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi that he would not give in to the American and Israeli demand to stop payments to the families of prisoners and martyrs, calling them “fighters” and underlining his obligation to them.

In similar statements on July 23 at a Ramallah ceremony to honor prisoners, he called them “pioneers” and “stars in the firmament of the Palestinian people’s struggle.” He added once again that the payments would not be stopped.

At the July 23 ceremony, Abbas conferred medals on the families of “martyred prisoners” and released prisoners. He said, inter alia, “We will neither reduce nor prevent [payment] of allowances to the families of martyrs, prisoners, and released prisoners, as some seek, and if we had only a single penny left, we would pay it to families of the martyrs and prisoners.”

The Middle East Media Research Institute bridges the language gap between the West and the Middle East and South Asia, providing timely translations of Arabic, Farsi, Urdu-Pashtu, Dari, and Turkish media, as well as original analysis of political, ideological, intellectual, social, cultural, and religious trends. The full report on this subject can be read here.

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