Tag Archives: Al-Hayat Al-Jadida

Abbas gives every freed prisoner $50,000 and a top job

In addition to lump sum, former inmates also promoted to senior government positions that carry large monthly salaries

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, second from left, waves with released Palestinian prisoners coming from Israeli jails during celebrations at Abbas' headquarter in the West Bank town of Ramallah, October 30, 2013. (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, second from left, waves with released Palestinian prisoners coming from Israeli jails during celebrations at Abbas’ headquarter in the West Bank town of Ramallah, October 30, 2013. (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)
Palestinian prisoners who were convicted of killing Israelis and then released by Israel as a goodwill gesture to smooth the path of peace talks were given at least $50,000 apiece as well as a comfortable monthly salary from the Palestinian Authority.

The 26 prisoners who were set free October 30 — the second batch of a total of 104 prisoners slated to be released — were almost all jailed before the 1993 Oslo Accords for attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians.

The salary granted to each prisoner depended upon the length of his incarceration. Those who were held for over 25 years were entitled to $50,000, in addition to a position as a deputy minister or a promotion to the rank of major-general in the security forces, both of which earn monthly wages of NIS 14,000 (nearly $4,000).

Those who spent less than 25 years in Israeli prisons received the same lump sum as well as promotion to a deputy directorship in a government ministry or to the rank of brigadier-general, with a monthly wage of NIS 10,000 ($2,800) on the PA’s payroll, the report said.

According to information published in the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida in 2011, the average monthly stipend paid by the government to family members of Palestinian prisoners stands at NIS 3,129 ($862), higher than the average salary of a Palestinian civil servant, which is NIS 2,882 ($794). Two and a half percent of the PA’s budget for salaries goes to prisoners’ families, the document indicated.

Issa Abd Rabbo, the most veteran of the prisoners released, received a $60,000 bonus, with the PA reportedly also offering to foot the bill for a wedding should he choose to marry. He was convicted of murdering two Israeli hikers south of Jerusalem in 1984, after tying them up at gunpoint and placing bags over their heads.

The prisoner release, the second of four phased releases as part of US-brokered peace talks with the Palestinians, raised ire in Israel’s right wing and among victims of terror who opposed the move.

Peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians restarted at the end of August and have continued with covert meetings. Despite a US-imposed ban on leaks, reports suggest that that the negotiations are stalled over key issues such as continued Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley and the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees and their descendents.

Elhanan Miller contributed to this report.

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US behind civil wars and atrocities in Arab countries, says official PA daily

Official PA daily: US behind civil wars and atrocities in Arab countries

By Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook//The official Palestinian Authority daily newspaper has accused the United States of ordering radical Islamists to commit atrocities in order to justify America’s war on terror and its actions against Arabs.

A recent opinion piece in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida claims that after the fall of the Soviet Union, the US needed “a new straw man, whose existence would justify all its wars, all its conspiracies and its policies of supporting oppression.”

The writer, Fuad Abu Hajla, who is a regular columnist at the paper, alleges that the US subsequently “urged Islamist movements to commit atrocities that tarnished the image of Islam and Muslims in the world,” thereby allowing it to use its war on terror as an excuse to overthrow Arab regimes.

The columnist insists that the American-led “lunatics” were forbidden to operate in Israel – “the Israeli tyrant” – but continue to be responsible for murders, kidnapping and terror in Syria and Algeria.

Abu Hajla has made similar accusations in the past. Describing the attack on a Shiite mosque by “Salafists and Jihadists” in Syria, he wrote in December 2012:

“I’m sure that these crazy gangs, who wreak havoc in the land (i.e., Syria), look to the same authority who puts the tyrants in Arab lands in power – they all function by virtue of an American authority and possess an American identity; they are all stooges of American ambassadors and agents.”

He claimed that “the Salafists who ‘practice Jihad’ in Arab capital cities and wave their swords to change Arab society, are fulfilling the wishes of the United States – to destroy everything accomplished by nations, and turn ‘[Arab] Spring’ into civil war.”

Palestinian Media Watch has documented other PA conspiracy accusations against Israel and the US.

The following are excerpts from the two op-eds by regular columnist Fuad Abu Hajla in the official PA daily:

“Since the fall of the Soviet Union and the collapse of the socialist bloc in Europe, the United States has been striving to create a new straw man whose existence would justify all its wars, all its conspiracies and its policy of supporting oppression.

At that stage the Americans decided to activate their strategic allies. They urged Islamist movements to commit atrocities that tarnished the image of Islam and Muslims in the world, and allowed Washington to replace the Soviet threat, as it were, with an imaginary Islamic threat. [Thus] began the ‘war against terrorism’ that overthrew progressive pan-Arab regimes and culminated with the conquest of Arab states. But it did not put an end to even one terrorist organization from among the organizations to whom the United States had extended its long-distance sponsorship and for whom it had provided fertile ground to broaden and expand.

All this was accompanied by an American and Western mobilization against Islam, Muslims and Arabs, depicting them as terrorists who understand only the language of slaughter and slitting hostages’ throats…

By a political decision, Salafists became Jihadists who with weapons confront all the tyrants of the world ­ except the Israeli tyrant, whom the Americans prohibited them from coming near.

That is how we and the whole world became accustomed to seeing pictures of cold-blooded murder and handcuffed hostages slaughtered with swords wielded by ‘Jihadists’…

It seems as if Washington has still not got all it wanted out of these lunatics, and so it allows them to act freely and move from arena to arena in order to provide new despicable examples that substantiate the unjust image of Islam in the world. They are still murdering in Syria and they are still kidnapping and terrorizing in Algeria. They are in all the other Arab states ­ even if many of their cells are still dormant, to be awakened only when given an American green light.”

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 21, 2013]
“Salafists or the Muslim Brotherhood winning control in Syria is no longer the most dangerous thing to look out for in the long Syrian Spring. On the contrary. [Muslim] Brotherhood and Salafi rule that embody reactionary decisions and choices looks much more compassionate than what now seems to be in store in the revolution that continues under American sponsorship. Yesterday, I watched a video clip that showed a group of Salafists and Jihadists attacking and burning a Shiite mosque in the village of Zarzour [in Syria]. The Jihadists saw this accomplishment as a great victory, part of a Jihadist raid, recorded in history in letters with American lighting in the book of hijacked Arab revolutions. I don’t know what they call this Jihad organization whose activists did this stupid thing, but I’m sure that these crazy gangs, who wreak havoc in the land (i.e., Syria), look to the same authority who puts the tyrants in Arab lands in power – they all function by virtue of an American authority and possess an American identity; they are all stooges of American ambassadors and agents… We’ve seen these crazies before, in Afghanistan. We saw them in Chechnya. We saw their ‘Jihad’ in Yemen, in Libya, and in Lebanon. We saw massive numbers of them in Egypt, and we saw their explosives in Jordanian hotels. But we never saw a single one of them – not one single activist – confront the Jewish occupation in Palestine. The Salafists who ‘practice Jihad’ in Arab capital cities and wave their swords to change Arab society, are fulfilling the wishes of the United States – to destroy everything accomplished by nations, and turn ‘[Arab] Spring’ into civil war.”
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 16, 2012]

New Fatah logo erases Israel

New Fatah logo erases Israel
Official logo celebrating Fatah’s 48th anniversary
includes map that shows all of Israel as “Palestine”

 

The official Palestinian Authority daily published a picture of the official logo chosen by Fatah for celebrations marking the movement’s 48th anniversary. The logo features various symbols, including a map of “Palestine” that includes all of Israel, the number 48, the Palestinian flag, and the slogan for the 48th anniversary: “The state and the victory.”

Palestinian Media Watch has documented that official PA maps do not acknowledge Israel’s existence and mark all of Israel as “Palestine.” The maps appear in all official frameworks including schools, government offices, official PA media, logos, at events and in official documents.

Other symbols central to Fatah ideology also appear in the logo, including a rifle and a key symbolizing the Palestinian claim of ownership to houses within Israel (see letters in yellow). The pattern in the map is reminiscent of the Palestinian keffiyeh-scarf. The dove breaking the chain symbolizes the freeing of all Palestinian prisoners. The golden dome represents both Islam and the Palestinian claim to Jerusalem.

The following is the article announcing the new logo in the official PA daily:

“Senior Fatah official in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Rabah, stressed that the movement this year will hold a big, central rally in the Gaza Strip on the day of the 48th anniversary of the beginning of the Palestinian revolution. Rabah explained to Ma’an that the event will be held considering the atmosphere of reconciliation and unity that has prevailed in the Palestinian arena in the last few weeks following the accomplishments in the battlefield (i.e., the Hamas-Israel military conflict in Gaza November 2012) and the accomplishments at the UN (i.e., UN vote granting “Palestine” observer status). The organizing committee for the 48th anniversary of the Fatah movement approved this year’s main anniversary logo… [The rally] will take place in Gaza to mark the 48th anniversary of the modern Palestinian revolution under the slogan ‘the state and the victory.'”
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 10, 2012]