FM expected to slam PA payments to jailed terrorists

Liberman to discuss PA "encouragement to terror" with visiting Norwegian FM; Italian FM, Greek defense minister also set to visit.

September 5, 2012 03:45
2 minute read.
FM Liberman speaks during Yisrael Beitenu meeting

FM Liberman speaks during Yisrael Beitenu meeting_311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)


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Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman is expected to slam the Palestinian Authority for spending some six percent of its budget on payments to terrorists in Israeli jails and family members of suicide bombers when he meets Wednesday with Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store.

Store, chairman of the international donors conference to the PA, formally known as the Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee, is scheduled to arrive Wednesday afternoon for a lightning visit of just over 12 hours to meet Liberman, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leaders prior to the organization’s next meeting later this month in New York. That meeting will take place at a time of deepening economic crisis in the PA.

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A Channel 2 report on Monday, however, showed that even faced with a dire financial situation, the PA spends some NIS 44 million each month in stipends to Palestinians serving time in Israeli jails for security offenses and to the families of suicide bombers. The payments, according to the report, also go to Israeli Arabs convicted of terrorist acts.

For instance, Channel 2 reported that Abbas al- Sayed, the Hamas terrorist responsible for the Passover Eve massacre at Netanya’s Park Hotel that killed 30 Israelis, receives a NIS 12,000 monthly stipend.

Liberman, speaking at a Rosh Hashana toast for Yisrael Beytenu, gave a preview of what he intends to discuss with Store.

“The murderers of Gandhi [assassinated minister Rehavam Ze’evi], the murderers of the Fogel family [killed in Itamar in 2011] are getting a salary that is high even by Israeli standards, NIS 12,000 a month. And they are talking about a financial crisis,” he said.

Liberman said that security prisoners from east Jerusalem get an additional NIS 300 a month and those from Israel receive NIS 500 a month more.

“This is clearly encouragement to terror,” he said.

These payments are taking place at a time when the PA owes the Israeli Electric Corporation NIS 700 million, he added.

Liberman said he will discuss all this with the Norwegian foreign minister.

“There is no reason why the Israel Electric Corporation has to suffer because [the PA] is paying NIS 12,000 to the murders of Gandhi and the Fogel family. That can’t be. We can be tolerant, and at times suckers, but there is a limit to everything.”

In addition to Store, Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi and Greek Defense Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos will also be arriving Wednesday for official visits. Terzi is scheduled to meet Netanyahu, Liberman and President Shimon Peres.

Government officials said that Israel’s relationship with Italy remains very strong, though it is not the same as it was when Silvio Berlusconi was prime minister.

Panagiotopoulos will also be meeting with both Netanyahu and Barak.

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