PALESTINE POLITICS: Despite Tillerson Reassurance, Palestinians Not Stopping ‘Martyr’ Payments

Politicoscope
By Politicoscope June 14, 2017 13:43
MOST POPULAR YOU MAY LIKE

POLITICS HOME: Current Political Article


Palestinian officials say there are no plans to stop payments to families of Palestinians killed or wounded carrying out attacks against Israelis, contradicting comments by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Continue below with the full current political topic.

PALESTINE POLITICS: Despite Tillerson Reassurance, Palestinians Not Stopping ‘Martyr’ Payments

Palestinian officials say there are no plans to stop payments to families of Palestinians killed or wounded carrying out attacks against Israelis, contradicting comments by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Tillerson told a Senate hearing on Tuesday he had received reassurances from President Mahmoud Abbas that the Palestinian Authority would end the practice of paying a monthly stipend to the families of suicide bombers and other attackers, commonly referred to by Palestinians as martyrs.

The issue of compensation has become a sticking point in efforts to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, with Israeli officials citing it as one reason they do not regard Abbas as a “partner for peace”.

“They have changed their policy,” Tillerson said, referring to the Palestinians. “At least I have been informed they’ve changed that policy and their intent is to cease payments.”

But Palestinian officials said they were not aware of any change and that it was unlikely a policy that has been a cornerstone of social support for decades would be altered.

“There have been talks about making the payments in a different way, but not ending them,” said one official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to comment on discussions held with the Americans.

“They could perhaps be labelled differently,” he said, suggesting the description “martyr” could be dropped, but he added: “They are not going to be stopped.”

The Palestinian Authority makes a variety of social security payments, mostly to families, for those convicted and imprisoned by Israel for fighting against the occupation and those killed in violence, whether they were carrying out suicide attacks, shot while throwing stones or in other circumstances.

Amounts vary depending on whether the person killed was married or had children. Those wounded also receive aid.

In total, some 35,000 families receive support from a dedicated fund established in the 1960s, including those living outside the Palestinian territories. Some estimates suggest the fund distributes as much as $100 million a year.

At the same time, there are 6,500 Palestinians in Israeli jails, including 500 detained without charge, in some cases for years. All of them, including around 300 children and 50 women, receive monthly support from the Palestinian Authority.

For Abbas, ending such payments would be politically fraught. Surveys show he is highly unpopular and that would only likely worsen if support were stopped. It would probably strengthen his rival in the Islamist group Hamas.

However, Abbas has taken some steps to stop payments in recent weeks, following meetings he held with President Donald Trump in Washington at the start of May and later the same month when the president visited the region.

Some 277 Palestinians released from Israeli jails under a prisoner-swap agreement and transported to the Gaza Strip, where Hamas is in charge, had their monthly stipends stopped, they told Reuters this month.

Yet that decision seemed more about cutting funds that may help Hamas in Gaza rather than responding to U.S. or Israeli demands to end payments to those who have carried out attacks.

Israeli officials said they had seen no evidence that the Palestinian Authority was stopping support.

“Israel is unaware of any change in the policy of the Palestinians, who continue to make payments to the families of terrorists,” an official said, describing the payments a form of incitement to carry out violence.

– Reuters



Readers Who Read this Article Also Read



Up Next on Politicoscope

Share this Article: "PALESTINE POLITICS: Despite Tillerson Reassurance, Palestinians Not Stopping ‘Martyr’ Payments"



Since You’re Here, We Would Like to ask You for Help
There are more readers worldwide reading the Politicoscope daily news content than ever before. Unlike many other news media organisations that charge their readers subscription fees for the same daily news content and features we offer you for free, we do not charge all our readers to pay any fee. We depend on online advertising to generate the revenues to fund all these great news content and exclusive features provided to you for free. Currently, advertising revenues are quickly falling which is affecting our ability to offer you free online news content.
If everyone who reads our news content, likes it and helps to support it, we can have future guarantee to offer you with the best daily news content and other amazing features, all for free.
"I visit Politicoscope everyday to read my daily news in world politics. I'm glad it's all for free. On my part, I'm happy to donate monthly so as to continue enjoying these free content because it's actually a small amount from me compared to paid subscriptions by other news organisations. I want to help Politicoscope grow more so that I and other readers can continue to have access to free and exclusive daily online news." - Denise H., from LA, USA.
Help keep Politicoscope alive and grow stronger for you.

Donate Online Today


Politicoscope
By Politicoscope June 14, 2017 13:43
Since You’re Here, We Would Like to ask You for Help
There are more readers worldwide reading the Politicoscope daily news content than ever before. Unlike many other news media organisations that charge their readers subscription fees for the same daily news content and features we offer you for free, we do not charge all our readers to pay any fee. We depend on online advertising to generate the revenues to fund all these great news content and exclusive features provided to you for free. Currently, advertising revenues are quickly falling which is affecting our ability to offer you free online news content.
If everyone who reads our news content, likes it and helps to support it, we can have future guarantee to offer you with the best daily news content and other amazing features, all for free.
"I visit Politicoscope everyday to read my daily news in world politics. I'm glad it's all for free. On my part, I'm happy to donate monthly so as to continue enjoying these free content because it's actually a small amount from me compared to paid subscriptions by other news organisations. I want to help Politicoscope grow more so that I and other readers can continue to have access to free and exclusive daily online news." - Denise H., from LA, USA.
Help keep Politicoscope alive and grow stronger for you.

Donate Online

$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $10.00



What's on Your Mind?