PMW’s special report to a UK Parliamentary Committee investigating payments to the PA, which was publicized earlier this year documents that in 2013 the PA paidover $100 million to terrorist prisoners, and more benefits totaling an additional $46 million dollars are being added in 2014.
In a recent interview with the British daily The Telegraph, the PA also corroborated that the salary figures exposed by PMW are correct: “When the Sunday Telegraph approached the Palestinian Authority to investigate these claims, officials confirmed that the payments quoted by PMW are ‘around the real figures’. And they were unapologetic.”
Asked why the US has not acted on the issue of the PA’s payments to terrorists, despite knowing about it for a long time, Assistant Secretary Patterson said: “I think, one, it is a political issue for the Palestinians, that these people are in jail, they have to provide for the families, and again I think they plan to phase it out.”
During his question time, Congressman Weber also asked Assistant Secretary Patterson if she knew “who initially sounded the alarm that this money was going to those terrorists,” the Assistant Secretary did not know, but answered it had “been the case for some time.”
Palestinian Media Watch originally reported that the PA pays salaries to terrorists in 2011, and has continuously and repeatedly issued updates and reports highlighting these ongoing payments and the US’ and EU countries’ funding of them. Even the PA has acknowledged that PMW reports have brought the information to American and European leaders who “know the facts by heart” and “question” the PA. Recently, official PA TV rebroadcast a rare interview with the wife of a prisoner who complains that she does not get any money from the salary that her husband receives monthly from the Palestinian Authority while imprisoned in Israel. The interview constitutes final confirmation of Palestinian Media Watch’s contention that the money paid to terrorists is not “social welfare” paid to the terrorists’ families, but rewards to the terrorists themselves. The program also includes an interview with PA Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake, who confirms that only the prisoner controls the money and only he has the right to appoint a power of attorney.
This broadcast also refutes the claim made by Assistant Secretary of State Ambassador Patterson that they give salaries to terrorists because “they have to provide for the families.”
Excerpts from Assistant Secretary Patterson’s testimony: