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Palestinians fighting fire with smoke?

Secretary of State John Kerry with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas

Secretary of State John Kerry with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas

When Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas sent firefighters to help extinguish fires in Israel a week ago, some saw it as a significant breakthrough in relations between Yasser Arafat’s successor and the Jewish state.

But, as usual in the Middle East, there’s more to the story than good vibes.

It turns out Abbas will likely write checks to the terrorists who set the blazes, according to an expert on Palestinian propaganda efforts that have turned much of the world against Israel and in favor of the PA.

“So far Israel has arrested 23 suspected arsonists connected to the hundreds of fires that raged across Israel last week burning more than 500 homes and 32,000 acres of forests and national parks,” writes Itamar Marcus in the Jerusalem Post.

“According to Palestinian law anyone imprisoned for ‘resisting the occupation’ receives a high monthly salary. Therefore, all of those convicted and imprisoned for arson will receive PA salaries ‘from the day of arrest until the day of release.’”

But it gets worse, writes Marcus, the director of Palestinian Media Watch.

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“Of course, it is not only arson-terrorists who receive a PA salary,” says his report. “All Palestinian, Israeli Arab and Arab terrorists from any country who are imprisoned are rewarded with high salaries from the PA. According to PA law and practice, ‘resisting the occupation’ includes any Arab imprisoned for attacking Israelis by any means, including throwing a stone at a car, driving a car into people at bus stops, building bombs for suicide bombers to blow up at cafes, or shooting and stabbing civilians to death in their sleep.

“Since the PA automatically includes anyone who attacked Israelis or their possessions as ‘fighters’ who are ‘resisting the occupation,’ there is no justification under Palestinian law and practice not to include last week’s arsonists among the Palestinian ‘heroes’ who receive monthly salaries,” Marcus writes.

In other words, the PA appears to have been fighting fires with propaganda smoke and mirrors.

The subsidization of terror in the PA is significant.

“Significantly, these salaries for terrorists rise the longer terrorists are in jail,” explains Marcus. “Terrorists convicted of murder and serving life sentences will reach a high salary of NIS 12,000 a month – more than four times the average Palestinian salary.

“The PA has already paid the five Hamas terrorists who murdered Eitam and Naama Henkin in front of their four children last October in total NIS 91,000 as reward for their murders. And terrorist Abdallah Barghouti has already received NIS 645,000 for building the bombs that murdered 67 Israelis at the Sbarro pizza shop, Sheffield Club, Moment Café, the triple bombing at the Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall, Hebrew University and No. 4 bus in Tel Aviv.”

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