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Tuesday, May 24, 2011     GET REAL

Palestinian could use donor funds to pay salaries of imprisoned insurgents

JERUSALEM — The Palestinian Authority, appealing for emergency aid, intends to finance thousands of insurgents jailed in Israel.


The PA has acknowledged that more than 6,000 Palestinian inmates would receive salaries. Under the legislation passed in April, all of the eligible inmates, many of them members of PA security forces, were serving in Israeli prisons on security offenses.

The new law, enacted before the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation accord, called for a sliding scale of salaries for Palestinian as well as Israeli Arab insurgents. Palestinian source said those serving sentences of more than 20 years in Israeli prisons would receive the highest paycheck from the PA.

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"It will be implemented on the basis of available sources of funding," the law said.

The official PA newspaper, Al Hayat Al Jadida, said the minimum PA salary for a prisoner would be 1,400 shekel [$400] per month for up to three years, Middle East Newsline reported. From three to five years, the salary would increase to 2,000 shekel [$572] and 4,000 shekels [$1,144] for those imprisoned up to 10 years. Those imprisoned for more than 30 years would be eligible to receive 12,000 shekel [$3,432].

The Israeli organization Palestinian Media Watch, which first highlighted the new PA law, envisioned that the Palestinian regime could use donor funds to finance insurgents. PMW, which has testified in the U.S. Congress on Palestinian issues, said donor funds could allow the PA to continue the salaries.

"All of these prisoners, no matter what their crime or affiliation, will receive the same base salary," the Israeli organization said. "Married prisoners will also receive additional pay, as well as those with children. Arabs from Jerusalem and Israeli Arabs imprisoned for terror offenses will get an additional supplement of 300 and 500 shekel, [between $80 and $115] respectively."

Under the law, announced by the PA on April 13, the PA would also provide benefits for their families and legal costs. Those released would also receive benefits such as free education and health insurance.

"We feel the the United States and European Union should be re-evaluating not just their funding, but their entire relationship with the PA," PMW said.

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