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Biden proposes that PA stops paying stipends to prisoners

January 27, 2022 at 9:00 am

US President Joe Biden speaks during the US Conference of Mayors 90th Annual Winter Meeting in Washington, DC, United States on January 21, 2022. [Kyle Mazza – Anadolu Agency]

The Biden administration in Washington has proposed to President Mahmoud Abbas that the Palestinian Authority should stop paying stipends to Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, reported on Wednesday. US President Joe Biden has instead suggested that the funds saved by cutting the stipends could be used for welfare payments.

According to Israeli TV reports, a senior Palestinian official said that Abbas recognises that he has to stop paying stipends to the families of the prisoners. “Abbas is, however, looking for a mechanism to continue paying them without triggering Israeli or Western criticism,” he added.

Channel 12 pointed out that the proposal has not been confirmed by the PA. Anonymous sources said that it has been suggested that the PA should classify prisoners over 60 years old as “retired PA employees” and those below 60 as “PA employees”.

The Biden administration has apparently also pledged that it would accept the nomination of a PA legal advisor to represent the Palestine Liberation Organisation in Washington instead of reopening the PLO office which was closed by the US president’s predecessor, Donald Trump.

READ: Biden ‘no different’ from Trump for Palestinians: Fatah official