Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90) (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Mahmoud Abbas

Despite Secretary Tillerson’s claim that the PA will cease payments to convicted terrorists, Arabic-language Palestinian media tells a different story.  

In a recent episode of its series “Giants of Endurance”, the official TV channel of the Palestinian Authority (PA) chose to honor Nasser Awais, a leader and founding member of the terror group, The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. Awais is currently serving 14 life sentences in an Israeli prison for planning attacks, which claimed the lives of 14 Israelis.

During the program, which was broadcast on May 30th, 2017 and translated by Palestinian Media Watch, the presenter opened with the following:

“We are now in the house of pride, honor, and struggle, that heroic prisoner Nasser Awais represents (i.e., responsible for the murder of 14), whom we salute on behalf of every member of the Palestinian people. Nasser Awais has left behind a name and a legacy that cannot disappear. Nasser Awais who everyone knows what he did for the homeland and so that we will live in freedom and dignity. He gave his freedom so that we would all live in freedom and dignity. All the glory is yours, my brother, Nasser Awais.”

Awais’s actions, which the TV program was so keen to salute, included a series of murderous terror attacks in 2002, including: A shooting at a Bar Mitzvah in Hadera, which killed six; a stabbing in a Tel Aviv fish market, which killed three; a shooting in Jerusalem, which killed two; a grenade attack in Netanya, which killed two; and the murder of a border policeman.

Awais was tried and sentenced in May 2003 to 14 life sentences. Since his imprisonment, he and his family receive a monthly stipend from the PA, which thus far has amounted to NIS 558,200  (roughly $158,000).

Nasser Awais is just one of a host of terrorists to have been honored by Palestinian TV.

Money for terror dates back to 1964, when Fatah established a fund – now known as The Martyrs’ Fund – to pay families of Fedayeen terrorists who had been killed or injured in attacks against Israelis.  In 2011, the PA legislated to pay salaries to convicted terrorists and their families as well.  According to the Israeli government, in the past four years alone, over $1 billion has been paid out to terrorists and their families.

Citing a promise from Mahmoud Abbas, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told a US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “They have changed that policy, and their intent is to cease the payments to the families of those who have committed murder or violence against others.”

“The president raised it, and I had a bilateral meeting with [Abbas] later and I told him – you absolutely have to stop this,” Tillerson said.

Despite Tillerson’s confidence in Abbas, both the PA and Israel rejected his claim that the policy of funding terror will end any time soon.

By: United with Israel Staff
With files from Palestinian Media Watch

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