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EU role in funding terrorist prisoners draws concerns


EU role in funding terrorist prisoners draws concerns

News Desk

With both the United States and Israel exerting financial pressure on the Palestinian Authority to end its payments to terrorist prisoners and the families of “martyrs,” the media watchdog group Palestinian Media Watch is raising concerns recent donation by the European Union to the P.A.

According to the official P.A. daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, on May 4, the European Union “donated 15 million euros to pay the April [2019] salaries and pension payments of approximately 57,000 [P.A.] public employees in the West Bank.”

The funding by the E.U. is part of direct financial aid to the P.A. through the PEGASE mechanism, an E.U. mechanism to facilitate direct financial aid to the Palestinian Authority, the report said.

However, the 15 million euro donation by the E.U. will fill the funding gap that P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas recently cut in order to continue payments to Palestinian prisoners and “martyr” families.

“Rather than condemning the P.A.’s practice of rewarding terrorist murderers, the E.U. is becoming a willing partner,” said Itamar Marcus, founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch. “As money is fungible, the fact that the E.U.’s donation of 15 million euros is earmarked to cover the April salaries and pension payments of approximately 57,000 [P.A.] public employees, is in reality self-deception.”

“In February of this year, the P.A. cut salaries of public employees to free up money to maintain full salaries to terrorist prisoners. Just three months later, the E.U. gives P.A. money to cover salaries to public employees, thereby the E.U. is actually indirectly paying terrorist prisoners.” 

Marcus added that the actions by the E.U. also “directly contradict a recent E.U. statement that is against payment of salaries to terrorists.”

The latest move by Abbas comes as he is pushing the Palestinian Authority to the financial brink as he is refusing to accept any tax revenues collected by Israel as long as Israel deducted payments made to families of security prisoners and “martyrs.”

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