Speaking in the name of Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, PA spokesman Nabil Shaath said the Palestinians have a “social responsibility” to offer monetary payouts to the families of prisoners in Israeli jails because they are “political prisoners,” and that the payouts are the PA’s way of “look(ing) after innocent people affected by the incarceration or killing of their loved ones as a result of the military occupation.”
Israeli victims of Palestinian terror were quick to respond, blasting Shaath for defending payments to terrorists, saying his speech showed the true face of the Palestinian political leadership.
“This is a very important statement,” said Meir Indor, head of the Almagor Terror Victims Association. “As soon as you justify killing innocent people as a reasonable reaction to Israeli policy you de facto justify it. The statement essentially says that ‘as long as we Palestinians feel occupied or treated badly, we have a right to kill.’ In that way, nothing has changed for the Palestinians since the creation of the PA. They still justify terrorism.”
Indor added that the timing of Shaath’s speech—a day after Trump administration officials Jason Greenblatt and Jared Kushner met in Ramallah with Mahmoud Abbas—should be seen as a “spit in the face” to the administration, and quoted former President Ronald Reagan for what Indor considers the correct approach to deal with terrorism
"Reagan was right: You don’t negotiate with terrorists. You fight them. I have no joy in saying that all those years ago, we were right (to oppose the Oslo process)."
Other families were more subdued than Indor, but equally offended by Shaath’s speech.
Seth Mandell, whose 13-year-old son Koby was stoned to death by Palestinians outside the family’s home town of Tekoa, said if Shaath is concerned about innocent Israelis and Palestinians he would do well simply to call for an end to Palestinian terrorism.
"(That would) eliminate the need to send money to the families of those who kill and injure innocent people.
“(But the) payment to people whose relatives are imprisoned after attacking Israeli citizens or neutralized while committing acts of terror encourages other Palestinians who otherwise might be deterred by the negative effect their murderous actions might have on those who depend on them financially,” Mandell told TPS.
Reprinted with permission from TPS