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memri
December 2, 2019 No.
8386

Palestinian 'Al-Hayat Al-Jadida' Daily Publishes Post By Hebron Resident Thanking Palestinian Authority For Making Regular Payments To His Family For Two Of His Brothers Who Were Involved In Terrorist Operations

The back page of the December 1, 2019 issue of the Palestinian Authority (PA) daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida features a post from the personal Facebook account of Thair Al-Haymouni, a Palestinian from Hebron, in which he thanks the PA for the payments it makes to his family. According to the post, the payments are made for two of Al-Haymouni's brothers, Hamas activist Ghazi Al-Haymouni, who was killed in 1994 while attempting to carry out a stabbing attack near the Cave of the Patriarchs,[1] and Fatah activist Mu'taz Al-Haymouni, who is in prison for recruiting the terrorist 'Andalib Taqatqa and planning the attack she carried out in a Jerusalem marketplace on April 12, 2002, in which 6 people were killed and 80 were wounded.[2]

Al-Haymouni's Facebook post appears on the paper's back page unaccompanied by any explanation, but its publication is likely related to a recent protest by a group of released Hamas prisoners who claim that the PA stopped making them payments in 2007.[3] The post backs up the PA's claim that it has never stopped making payments to Palestinian prisoners and to the families of martyrs, regardless of their organizational affiliation. An editorial in the same issue of the daily indeed states that the PA makes payments to "thousands of Hamas prisoners."[4]  

 It should be mentioned that, since its founding, the Palestinian Authority has been making payments to prisoners, released prisoners and the families of martyrs, including those involved in deadly terror attacks against civilians. These payments have continued despite international pressure to stop them on the grounds that they encourage terrorism. PA officials, headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud 'Abbas, repeatedly state that making them is a national duty of the first order and that they will never be stopped. For example, at an August 2017 meeting with President Trump's advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner, 'Abbas said that he would never stop the payments to the families of prisoners, released prisoners, and martyrs, even if he was forced out of office as a result.[5] About one year later, 'Abbas said at a Ramallah ceremony in honor of prisoners, "We will neither reduce nor prevent [payment] of allowances to the families of martyrs, prisoners, and released prisoners, as some seek, and if we had only a single penny left, we would pay it to families of the martyrs and prisoners."[6]

The following is a translation of Al-Haymouni's Facebook post, as published in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida:

Thair Al-Haymouni Thanks The PA For The Payments It Has Been Making To His Family For 20 Years

In his Facebook post Thair Al-Haymouni writes: "I thank the Palestinian Authority for making payments that have never stopped for 20 years to [the family of] my martyred brother, Hamas member Ghazi Al-Haymouni, and to my imprisoned brother, Fatah member Mu'taz Al-Haymouni, just as it pays tens of thousands of [other] Palestinian fighters, regardless of their organizational affiliation."[7]


Thair Al-Haymouni's Facebook post


Thair Al-Haymouni's post on the back page of Al-Hayat Al-Jadida

As stated, the post appeared on Al-Hayat Al-Jadida's back page without any explanation. It was also shared by Munir Al-Jaroub, head of the information bureau of Fatah's recruitment and organization commission, on his personal Facebook page.[8]

Al-Hayat Al-Jadida Editorial: The PA Makes Payments To Thousands Of Hamas Prisoners

The Al-Hayat Al-Jadida editorial dealt with the group of released prisoners from Hamas who erected tents in Ramallah to protest the PA's failure to pay them allowances. It stated: "Know that if such tents had been erected by any faction in Gaza, they would have been burned down and the people in them arrested. But in Ramallah they enjoy the democracy of the PA. [In fact], the Prime Minister even visited them, unaccompanied by bodyguards to intimidate the leaders of [the group] in the tents, which are clearly not [genuine] protest tents but a Hamas deception. Whoever wants to find out more about this matter should peruse the [PA] finance ministry records [which list] the [bank] accounts of the prisoners who receive payments, including thousands of Hamas prisoners. The initiators of the protest do not appear [on this roster]."[9]

 

[1] Facebook.com/thairhemone, November 28, 2019.

[2] Asramedia.ps, April 26, 2017.

[3] These released prisoners claim that the payments stopped after the 2007 Hamas coup in Gaza, and that Palestinian General Intelligence chief Majed Faraj promised them over a year ago that their case would be handled. In October they erected protest tents in Yasser Arafat Square in Ramallah, and some of them went on a hunger strike (Al-Arabi Al-Jadid, London, October 20, 2019; palinfo.com, November 28, 2019). They claim that the tents were forcibly taken down by the PA on November 26, whereas the PA claims that they were only moved to a different location (palsawa.com, snd.ps, November 26, 2019).

[4] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), December 1, 2019.

[5] Al-Quds (Jerusalem), August 27, 2017.

[6] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), July 24, 2018. See Special Dispatch No. 7583, Palestinian Authority (PA) President 'Abbas: 'If We Had Only A Single Penny Left, We Would Pay It To Families Of The Martyrs And Prisoners', July 24, 2018. For more on PA payments to the families of prisoners and martyrs families, see MEMRI reports: Special Dispatch No.8042, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas: Palestinian Authority Facing Financial Crisis, But We Refuse To Accept Money From Israel If Salary Of Martyrs' Families Is Deducted, May 1, 2019; Special Dispatch No.7980, Palestinian Authority, Fatah Continue Official Support And Encouragement Of Armed Struggle Against Israel, April 2, 2019; Special Dispatch No.7736, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas: We Will Continue To Pay The Families Of Martyrs, Prisoners, And The Wounded; There Are Six Million Palestinian Refugees, October 30, 2018; Clip No. 6179, Former Chief Palestinian Negotiator Nabil Shaath: We Will Not Stop Payment To Prisoners And Their Families, August 27, 2017; Inquiry and Analysis No. 1321, Palestinian Authority, PLO Officials: Allowances To Prisoners Will Continue; 'This Issue Is Not Subject To U.S.-Israeli Extortion,' June 16, 2017; Special Dispatch No. 7070, Palestinian Media Stresses: President Mahmoud 'Abbas Refuses To Halt Payments To Prisoners, Families Of Martyrs, August 28, 2017; Special Dispatch No. 7001, 'Abbas, PA Officials, Reaffirm Commitment To Continue Paying Allowances To Prisoners And Martyrs' Families, July 10, 2017; Inquiry and Analysis No. 1327, 2017 Palestinian Authority Budget Shows: Salaries, Benefits For Prisoners, Released Prisoners Several Times Higher Than Welfare For Needy, August 22, 2017. The allowances paid by the PA to incarcerated and released prisoners and to the families of "martyrs" were described in detail by MEMRI President Yigal Carmon in his July 6, 2016 testimony before the U.S. Congress. See MEMRI Daily Brief No. 97, MEMRI President Yigal Carmon's Testimony To House Committee On Foreign Affairs, July 6, 2016: Palestinian Authority Support For Imprisoned, Released, And Wounded Terrorists And Families Of 'Martyrs,' July 6, 2016.

[7] Facebook.com/thairhemone, November 28, 2019; Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), December 1, 2019.

[8] Facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004559626345, November 29, 2019.

[9] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), December 1, 2019.