The United States and several other nations who regularly contribute significant funds to the Palestinians have demanded a halt to the Palestinian Authority’s payment of monthly salaries to terrorists and families of suicide bombers.
And Israel recently passed a law that will penalize the PA for the payments.
In response, reports Palestinian Media Watch, Palestinians have asserted a “right” to kill.
After Israel passed a law that deducts the amount the PA pays imprisoned terrorists from the tax money Israel collects for the PA, Palestinian leaders immediately announced the payments would continue, insisting the prisoners did nothing wrong.
Palestinians have a “right” to kill Israelis, and so the prisoners are “freedom fighters” and recognized “prisoners of war,” the leaders argue, according to PMW.
Were it to halt payments, “as Israel, the U.S. Australia and many European countries have demanded, that would be admitting that Palestinians don’t have a right to kill Israelis, and would be tantamount to defining the prisoners as ‘terrorists’ and ‘criminals,'” the report said.
One such statement came from PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs spokesman Hassan Abd Rabbo.
He said the legislation that passed the Israeli Parliament is “racist legislation and is tantamount to organized state terror, which targets the Palestinian people’s values of struggle and morals, and attempts not only to steal the Palestinian people’s money, but also to target the history of our people’s struggle and its right to resist the occupation.”
“The [Israeli] law defines the [Palestinian] national struggle as a crime, considers it terror, and considers the Palestinian people’s fighters and its Martyrs terrorists, criminals, and murderers,” he said. “The issue of paying allowances to the families of the Martyrs, prisoners, and wounded is a sacred national obligation of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian leadership.”
Another statement came from PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Director Issa Karake: “[Israel] wants to define the Palestinian people’s entire struggle as a ‘crime’ and those who have resisted the occupation as ‘criminals.’ This is the resistance of our Palestinian people, which is guaranteed by the international and humanitarian laws.”
In several statements that were released, the PA issued threats, including: “If the government of Israel implements this decision, this will have political, security, and financial consequences. … All of the options will be open.”
PMW reported: “Karake’s claim that ‘the resistance of our Palestinian people … is guaranteed by the international and humanitarian laws’ exemplifies a claim the PA has made for years, as documented by PMW. PA leaders and officials have legitimized Palestinian violence by quoting U.N. resolution 3236 which ‘recognizes the right of the Palestinian people to regain its rights by all means.’ The PA interprets ‘all means’ as including violence against civilians, but has chosen to ignore the continuation of the resolution which states that the use of ‘all means’ should be ‘in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.'”
The report said the U.N. Charter prohibits targeting civilians, even in war. Chapter 1, Article 1, opens by saying that “international disputes” should be resolved “by peaceful means.”
The PMW report said: “Therefore, when the chairman of the General Authority for Civil Affairs in the PA and Fatah Movement Central Committee member Minister Hussein Al-Sheikh threatened that if Israel implements the law, the PA leadership will respond, and ‘all options will be open,’ this is to be understood as an implied threat of violence and terror.”
A columnist in the official PA daily warned: “The salaries of the prisoners of freedom are a right that is guaranteed to them, and colonialist Israel, the U.S., and anyone else cannot under any circumstances be allowed to harm this right, which is guaranteed to them as freedom fighters according to the Palestinian national criteria and laws and international (criteria).”
The PA said the jailed convicts are “our national symbols and the symbols of the defense of freedom and dignity.”
The arguments even cite the Geneva Convention, PMW reported.
“However … the Fourth Geneva Convention relates to civilians in wartime, not terrorists imprisoned for attacking and murdering civilians,” the PMW report said. “Article 81 applies only to ‘internees,’ and not to terrorists who are standing trial, convicted, or released from prison and likewise not to the families of dead terrorists.”