Palestinian Hamas militants take part in a memorial service for senior militant Mazen Fuqaha, in Gaza City March 27, 2017..
(photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMMED SALEM)
A Palestinian official on Wednesday said there are no plans to stop making payments to families of Palestinians who have been convicted of killing Israelis, contradicting comments by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
“We will continue to pay them,” PLO Prisoners’ Commission Chairman Essa Qaraqaa told The Jerusalem Post. “What Tillerson said is not correct."
Tillerson told a Senate hearing on Tuesday he had received reassurances from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that the Palestinians would end the practice of paying a monthly stipend to the families of convicted killers.
Qaraqaa added that Abbas had personally informed him that the payments would continue.
“Abu Mazen told me that he will not give up the issue of the prisoners and will ensure they continue to receive salaries,” the PLO official stated.
For their part, Israeli officials also said they are unaware of any changes in the Palestinians’ policy on payments to convicted killers.
"I have not seen any sign that the Palestinian Authority is stopping or intends to stop payments to terrorists or the families of terrorists,” Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman told Kan’s Reshet Bet on Wednesday. "We are following this closely, at least as of this moment [and] as I am speaking with you, I have not seen that they have stopped or [that] they intend to stop the payments.”
Reuters contributed to this report.