A front-page report in the East Jerusalem daily Al-Quds provided details on the August 24, 2017 meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud 'Abbas and the U.S. delegation headed by U.S. President Donald Trump's advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Citing Israeli journalist Gal Berger, the report said that 'Abbas had told Kushner he would never halt the payments to the families of the Palestinian prisoners and martyrs, even if this cost him the presidency. This statement in fact appeared as the daily's overline, and the report added that it "reflected... the Palestinian anger over the U.S. delegation's focus on this topic."
'Abbas's statement about the payments to prisoners was also highlighted in a special banner posted August 26, on Fatah's official Facebook page.
The following are excerpts from the Al-Quds report and from the Fatah Facebook post.
Al-Quds overline: "The President Stressed He Would Not Stop [Paying] Salaries to Families of Martyrs and Prisoners"
Al-Quds: Anger In PA Over U.S. Delegation's Focus On Topic Of Payments To Families Of Prisoners And Martyrs
The Al-Quds report said: "Western diplomatic sources reveal that, in his meeting with President Mahmoud 'Abbas in Ramallah last Thursday, the U.S. President's advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner stressed the impossibility of halting the settlements in the Palestinian territories, since this would lead to the downfall of the Netanyahu government. President 'Abbas, for his part, stressed his adherence to the two-state solution, and that he would never stop paying salaries to the families of the martyrs and prisoners until his dying day.
"Although Kushner expressed some openness to the two-state solution, according to the sources he refused to define the borders on the Palestinian state as the 1967 borders, but said that this would be a matter to be agreed upon by the Israeli and Palestinian sides. According to the Western diplomatic sources, quoted yesterday by the London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, some progress was made in the meeting, but not enough to restart the negotiations. According to the sources, the U.S. delegation informed President 'Abbas that, in the next stage, it will act to strengthen the economic, security and political relations between the [Palestinian and Israeli] sides prior to restarting the negotiations...
"It should be noted that President 'Abbas demands that the American administration clearly recognize that the goal of the negotiations is the realization of the two-state solution based on the June 4, 1967 borders...
"In the meeting with 'Abbas, the Americans once again raised the issue of the salaries paid by the PA to the prisoners and to the families of martyrs who died in operations against and clashes with the Israeli occupation. According to Israeli journalist Gal Berger, 'Abbas informed Kushner that he would never stop paying these salaries until his dying day, even if this cost him the presidency.
"Abbas's statements reflect a measure of the Palestinian anger over the focus of the U.S. delegation on this topic and its disregard of core issues such as the two-state solution and the halting of the settlements.
"The Palestinians hope that the Americans return [to the region] with a clear stance on the two-state solution and the settlements, for this will go a long way towards starting a new peace process in the region. President 'Abbas wants the Arab peace initiative to be the basis and the source of authority for any peace process, including a regional peace process.
"If the U.S. efforts fail, the Palestinian leadership plans to go back to the Security Council and request that it implement its resolutions on ending the occupation and [also recognize] Palestine as a full member [of the UN]."
Banner On Fatah Facebook Page Celebrates 'Abbas's Statement
Fatah's official Facebook page posted a special banner featuring a picture of 'Abbas against the background of Al-Aqsa and the Fatah emblem, with a quote of his statement: "I will never stop [paying] the allowances to the families of the prisoners and released prisoners, even if this costs me my position and my presidency. I will pay them until my dying day."