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Abbas stops allocations for Prisoners Club

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas (R) and US President Donald Trump (L) hold a joint press conference following their meeting on 23 May, 2017 in Bethlehem, West Bank [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas (R) and US President Donald Trump (L) hold a joint press conference following their meeting on 23 May, 2017 in Bethlehem, West Bank [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

The President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has suspended the allocations of leading human rights body, the Prisoners Club; no details have been given for the decision.

Palestinian sources close to the Prisoner Club confirmed to Quds Press News Agency the suspension of all the allocations of the institution without formally informing officials. However, when they consulted the authorities about the failure to obtain financial allocations, which include lawyers fees, headquarters costs, and staff salaries, it turned out that the decision was taken by President Abbas.

The sources stressed that the Prisoner Club members are seeking solutions and started a dialogue with all parties to persuade the president to reconsider his decision “which affects the national institution that has existed for 25 years, working to defend the rights of detainees, and support the prisoners in Israeli jails. ”

Quds Press reported that the Prisoner Club’s attitude is not to address the issue through the media; instead, they aim to exhaust all channels of communication with the Fatah Central Committee and the Executive Committee of the PLO in order to reverse the decision.

During his recent meeting with Abbas, US President Donald Trump upheld the Israeli view that the salaries of prisoners and martyrs were tantamount to “support for terrorism.”

Although Palestinian officials oppose the decision to cut the salaries of martyrs and prisoners, many question the ability of the PA to resist US pressure.

Deputy speaker of the Legislative Council, Hassan Khreisheh, said in an interview with Quds Press that the issue of prisoners and martyrs salaries is “a red line that no one can cross, and will pose a threat to those who dare to do so.”

Khreisheh said that the PA has previously succumbed to US and Israeli pressure when it decided to abolish the Ministry of Prisoners Affairs and turn it into an entity affiliated to the PLO.

He added: “This is what encouraged Tel Aviv and Washington to exert more pressure on the PA, which did not show firmness,” stressing that the act of turning the Ministry of Prisoners Affairs into a PLO body “was illegal, and was done without consultation with the parliament and the National Council.”

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