Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas admitted that the PA is paying salaries to terrorists incarcerated in Israeli prisons despite previous public assurances that such payments had ended, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reported.
In a meeting with Abbas on Wednesday, Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende confronted the Palestinian leader on the PA payments to terrorists, according to the Norwegian daily newspaper Dagen. Abbas confirmed that such payments still exist, but said that the salaries are not paid with Norwegian funds.
“In the meeting, I emphasized that this support program in which financial payments are increased the [longer] the prisoners serve time [in prison] is unacceptable and should be abolished. I emphasized that with the political and economic challenges that Palestinians now face, it is in their own best interest to abolish this program,” said Brende. “Abbas responded by repeating assurances that Norwegian funds are not going to finance the program.”
PMW has been documenting—including through a recently released report—how the PA continues to accept funds from Western countries while promising that the foreign aid will not be used to pay imprisoned terrorists, even though the payments have persisted. According to the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, Norway gave the Palestinians about $77 million in foreign aid last year.