Tag Archives: Mahmoud Abbas

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.


PA ignores plight of Palestinian prisoners held in Arab countries

PA President Mahmoud Abbas at a PLO meeting in Ramallah, July 18, 2013.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas at a PLO meeting in Ramallah, July 18, 2013. Photo: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

While the Palestinian Authority continues to demand the release of Palestinians from Israeli jails, it has long been ignoring the fact that thousands of Palestinians are languishing in prisons in several Arab countries.

The families of the prisoners held by Israel at least know where their sons are, and most are able to visit them on a regular basis.

But in the Arab world the story is completely different.

The daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi recently revealed that dozens of Palestinians have been held in Kuwaiti prisons since 1991, and their families don’t know anything about their conditions.

The fact that Palestinians are being held in prison in an Arab country is not surprising.

What is more surprising is the Palestinian Authority’s position on them.

According to the report, the PA has never approached the Kuwaitis concerning the fate of the prisoners.

Muhammad al-Udwan, the father of one of the Palestinians held in Kuwait for the past 25 years, said he still doesn’t know exactly where his son Essam is being held.

He and other families complained that the PA hasn’t done anything to help them.

The PLO ambassador to Kuwait, Rami Tahboub, refused to comment on the plight of the prisoners.

Reached by phone, the ambassador first said he was busy with a meeting. He later stopped answering the phone.

Hassan Khraisheh, deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council in Ramallah, urged the emir of Kuwait to put an end to the “tragedy” of the Palestinian families whose sons are held in his prisons without trial.

He called on the emir to inform the families whether their sons were still alive.

“If they are dead, then we want confirmation and information where they are buried,” he added.

Kuwait expelled hundreds of thousands of Palestinians after US-led coalition forces liberated the tiny oil-rich emirate in 1991. The move came in retaliation for the PLO’s support of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait a year earlier. After liberation, the Kuwaitis also arrested many Palestinians on suspicion of collaboration with the Iraqi occupation army.

Recently, the Kuwaitis finally allowed the PLO to reopen its embassy in the emirate.

The move came after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas apologized for the PLO’s support of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait.

But the PA leadership appears too afraid to ask the Kuwaiti authorities about the Palestinians who went missing in the emirate over the past two decades. Abbas does not want to alienate the Kuwaitis because he’s hoping they will resume financial aid to the Palestinians.

Two weeks ago, Abbas boasted that he had acted as a mediator to secure the release of nine Lebanese nationals abducted 17 months ago in Syria.

Abbas’s announcement enraged families of Palestinian prisoners in Kuwait and other Arab countries. The families said Abbas’s top priority should have been to secure the release of Palestinians, and not Lebanese, from Syrian prisons.

Hundreds of Palestinians are held in various prisons in Syria, some for more than two decades. In the past year, at least two prisoners were reported to have died in Syrian and Egyptian prisons.

Again, the PA leadership has not even demanded an inquiry into the deaths or the continued incarceration of Palestinians in the Arab world.

A prominent Palestinian writer who spent three weeks in jail in Syria described the prisons there as “human slaughterhouses.”

Salameh Kaileh was arrested in April last year on suspicion of printing leaflets calling for the overthrow of Bashar Assad.

“It was hell on earth,” Kaileh told The Associated Press. “I felt I was going to die under the brutal, savage and continuous beating of the interrogators, who tied me to ropes hung from the ceiling.

Islam: The Foundation of the Middle East Conflict


fatah-islam-terrorAs we approach the 4th month and 14th meeting between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), the latest round of U.S. pressured negotiations seem hopelessly deadlocked.  What else is new?

Secretary of State Kerry arrived in Jerusalem this week to try and resuscitate the perpetually moribund peace talks between Israel and the PLO.  According to an article in the Jerusalem Post, Israeli officials claim both sides are cognizant a gap between them is so great that only an interim deal can be made in the 9-month time frame mandated by the Obama Administration.

Not wasting a moment, PLO secretary general, Yasser Abed Rabbo, immediately quashed the report and rejected it out of hand, stating it was “baseless.”….“The Palestinian leadership rejects any interim agreements…. We also reject the idea of establishing a Palestinian state with temporary borders.” As if not emphatic enough, he went on to describe the Israeli position as:  “the worst in 20 years.”

PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki concurred, reaffirming as non-negotiable the demand for a two-state solution based upon the pre-1967 lines “where Palestine and Israel would live next to each other in security and peace.”  Wouldn’t that be nice?

In accordance, PLO Executive Committee member Wasel Abu Yusef  further dispelled the aura of secret negotiations by stating, if they didn’t get their way, “The Palestinians won’t be able to continue with them.  All indications show that the talks are headed toward failure.”  For reasons other than his, I couldn’t agree with him more.

Lost in all the hyperbole of deceptive surface issues such as “settlements,” Jerusalem, the right of return, pre-67 borders, and the creation of a Palestinian state itself, is a failure to recognize these issues are outward symptoms of the struggle, not its essence.  The foundation, the least common denominator of this enmity is the expansionist nature of Islam, a political movement ensconced in a religion.

More than any other reason, these innumerable talks have been nothing but a game of ring around the rosy and Jew hatred, codified within the Qur’an and Hadith, the foundational scriptures of Islam.  To the faithful, the mere existence of a sovereign Jewish state in their midst is a violation of dar-al-Islam (all those lands in which a Muslim sets foot in becomes the possession of Islam.  Non-Muslims may live there but only upon Muslim sufferance).  This is the substantive point of departure of Arab bellicosity long before 1948 and to this very day is the one underlying issue which renders all others moot.

From the past to the present, from Mohammad, to the Caliphate dynasties, onward to today’s terrorists wreaking havoc upon the world.  Expansive Islam is driven by the venerated Qur’an, one-third of which is devoted to the denigration of Jews.  The quotes in the Hadith (the putative sayings of Muhammad or a report about something he did) are no less replete with Jewish invective.  These laws divide the world theologically into those who who accept Islam as a divine religion and those that do not.

Those who do not are called dhimmis (conquered people that do not convert to Islam but are protected as long as they pay an exorbitant poll tax, the jizya).  They are forced to accept a recognizable and humiliating second class existence under strict Islamic suzerainty.  This has been the fate of all native populations vanquished by Muslim hordes throughout history and would surely be that of Jews in Israel today if they absurdly succumb to the pressures of a land for peace pipe dream where recalcitrant terrorist groups over a period of time would certainly finish off whatever was left of Israel.

Unfortunately, hitherto, the West either fails to recognize or doesn’t have the moxie to confront the self-evident theological nature of the Middle East dispute, finding it much easier to admonish Israel for not acquiescing to the preposterous demands made upon her.  To those dismissive of this analysis, deeming it Islamophobic, I encourage you not to kill the messenger. Instead google an English translation of the Qur’an, type in “Jews” or “children of Israel,” do some objective scholarship, and make your own judgment as to whether this clash is fueled by temporal dictates or by theological, systemic, Jew hatred.

In his own words, Israel’s “partner for peace,” Mahmoud Abbas in a 2007 speech commemorating the the 42nd anniversary of the founding of his Fatah party quoted directly from Sura 5:64 of the Qur’an:

“And the Jews say, the hand of Allah is chained. Chained are their hands, and cursed are they for what they say. ….We have cast among them animosity and hatred until the Day of Resurrection. Every time they kindled the fire of war [against you], Allah extinguished it. And they strive throughout the land [causing] corruption, and Allah does not like corrupters.”

He went on to say: “We should put our internal fighting aside and raise our rifles only against the Israeli occupation.”  Yet with a straight face and the spontaneity of a chameleon he adeptly can look the gullible right in the eye as he did in 2010 at a White House meeting in which he proclaimed to President Obama:  “I say in front of you, Mr. President, that we have nothing to do with incitement against Israel, and we’re not doing that.”  Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Human Rights and co-chairman of the Bi-Partisan Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism, would beg to differ.

Following a meeting on Capital Hill on January 26, 2012, he and others stated that Palestinian text books at grade levels 1-12 are replete with lessons of intolerance and hatred toward Jews and Israel.

As if more evidence of his ill intentions are needed, Abbas, the “moderate”at a meeting in Cairo this past July 29th reiterated:  “In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli, civilian or soldier on our lands.” “Final resolution.” How fitting he would use that term.  With his demand for a (Judenrein) Jew-free country, this revered Palestinian statesman joins the majority of Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia, where Jews, especially those from Israel are not permitted to set foot.

If this were a secular affray over matters such as those mentioned earlier or any other non-religious contention it could have been settled years ago.  But except to the willfully blind, the overwhelming evidence validates theocratic Jewish hatred as its underpinning.  If not for its religious nature why would the entire Islamic world be so vehement in not recognizing Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people?

In response to my essays and presentations, I’m often asked my opinion on how this struggle might ultimately be resolved.  The options I present are often unacceptable to some and impracticable to others.

One thing for certain, based upon the aforementioned it won’t get done by the historically defunct “land for peace” paradigm.  If that were possible it would have been accomplished at Camp David in 2000 when Arafat turned down 97% of Judea/Samaria (West Bank), all of Gaza, a capital in Jerusalem, a right of return, and a $30 billion compensation fund for refugees.

It was also spurned 5 years later by the Palestinians following Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza resultant in two subsequent wars and terrorism unabated till this very day.

Once again it was spurned in 2006 when then Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert offered Abbas joint sovereignty of Jerusalem and a partial return of refugees.  None of these gestures of peace, including Israel’s abandonment of Southern Lebanon, were met with reciprocation.   History and current events bare witness, conflicts exist wherever predominant Muslim states adjoin non-Islamic entities and this certainly is no different.  So what are the options? Few and none appealing:

All out war; acquiescence; the eventual dismemberment of the Jewish character of Israel; the status quo; an Islamic Reformation.

The one that could end the Israeli/Palestinian crisis and 90% of the conflicts around the world will most likely never happen, an Islamic Reformation.  Such a movement would entail a renouncement of the political, imperialist dogma which up to this point has characterized Islam from the outset.  It would also necessitate purging the hectoring and codified hatred of Jews and others so abundant within Islamic scriptures.  In addition, Muslims would have to renounce the messianic, forced proselytization and conversion of the Kafir (“infidels” not wishing to convert to Islam).  Anything short of this guarantees conflict not only between Israel and the Palestinians but between Islam and nations and individuals throughout the world that wish to maintain their own customs and way of life.

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