Freed Hamas prisoner celebrating. (Flash90/Abed Rahim Khatib) (Flash90/Abed Rahim Khatib)

The Palestinian government office that oversees salaries for convicted terrorists must be officially listed as a terrorist organization, says Palestinian Media Watch.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

Knesset members who received a report from Palestinian Media Watch are calling on the government to officially designate the Palestinian Authority’s Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs as a terrorist organization.

An extensive legal report by PMW, a watchdog NGO that monitors what the Palestinians are saying in Arabic, revealed that the PA Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs and its director, Qadri Abu Bakr, are directly responsible for the paying of salaries to terrorist prisoners that “provide financial… [and] other services …in support of acts of terrorism.”

As well as presenting it to the Knesset, PMW provided their report to the U.S. Treasury Department in order to get the U.S. to designate Abu Bakr and the PA prisoners’ commission as terrorist entities under Executive Order 13224 due to their violations of the Taylor Force Act.

The Taylor Force Act is named for Taylor Force, a U.S. veteran who was murdered by a Palestinian while doing graduate studies in Israel. The act passed by Congress bans any money transfers to entities that support the Palestinian pay-for-slay policy under which the PA pays reward money to convicted terrorists and the families of terrorists, including the Force’s killer.

Maurice Hirsch, PMW’s Director of Legal Strategies, told United With Israel he wants the Knesset to adopt the same policy and designate Abu Bakr and his commission as a terrorist body.

“It exposes the organization and anybody who works for the organization to severe potential criminal sanctions,” Hirsch said.

The PMW report received support after it was circulated in the Knesset, with members calling on the government of Israel to also designate Abu Bakr and his office as a terrorist organization.

“It is an organization whose very nature is to support terror, to which we should show zero tolerance,” opposition Yest Atid Party member MK Elazar Stern wrote to Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

“The next necessary step, as recently recommended to President Donald Trump by Congressman Doug Lamborn, is to impose personal sanctions on public figures in the Palestinian Authority,” said Yamina Party MK Matan Kahana.

The PMW report moved Lamborn to make the recommendation to Trump. PMW director Itamar Marcus noted that one goal of the Taylor Force Act was to strengthen the U.S. war on international terror.

“An important tool of U.S. anti-terror policy is Executive Order 13224, which provides the basis to sanction both individuals and entities involved in terror,” Marcus wrote.

“It is both a logical and important next step in the U.S. war on terror, to immediately apply Executive Order 13224 to Palestinians and entities that violate the terms of the TFA by incentivizing terror: the PA/PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, the entity that pays salaries to terrorist prisoners, and it director Qadri Abu Bakr.”

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