Dichter Slams Meretz MKs for Fail­ing to Raise Pay­ments Is­sue with Ab­bas

The Jewish Voice - - ISRAEL - By: An­drew Friedman

Chair­man of the Knes­set For­eign Af­fairs and De­fense Com­mit­tee MK Avi Dichter blasted a group of left-wing Knes­set mem­bers and ac­tivists who met with Pales­tinian Au­thor­ity Chair­man Mah­moud Ab­bas (Abu Mazen) Sunday, crit­i­ciz­ing them for fail­ing to raise the is­sue of PA salaries to the fam­i­lies of ter­ror­ists with the Pales­tinian lead­er­ship.

“For God’s sake, how can Meretz MKs, who met with PA chair­man Ab­bas, not have de­manded an ex­pla­na­tion for salary pay­ments to ter­ror­ists and their fam­i­lies? Dichter steamed on Face­book.

The mis­sive fol­lowed a del­e­ga­tion led by Meretz Party Chair­woman Za­hava Gal-on and in­cluded fel­low Meretz par­lia­men­tar­ian Is­sawi Freij, Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Mossi Raz and Ilan Baruch, a for­mer Is­raeli am­bas­sador to South Africa who re­signed from the for­eign min­istry in 2011 say­ing he could “no longer rep­re­sent Is­rael,” due to the poli­cies of Prime Min­is­ter Binyamin Ne­tanyahu and then-For­eign Min­is­ter Avig­dor Liber­man. The Pales­tinian leader briefed the del­e­ga­tion on dif­fi­cul­ties the Au­thor­ity faces with the “chaotic” Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion as well as on se­cu­rity col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Is­rael and the Pales­tinian Au­thor­ity.

Abu Mazen said that there has been no se­cu­rity co­op­er­a­tion since the July 14 ter­ror at­tack at the Tem­ple Mount in which a trio of Is­raeli-Arabs mur­dered two po­lice of­fi­cers. But he added that Pales­tinian forces have dou­bled their over­sight in the area in or­der to pre­vent fur­ther clashes and the de­vel­op­ment of a re­li­gious war. “That would be the end of the world,” Abu Mazen said.

Gal-on said she ques­tioned Ab­bas about moves to “pun­ish” Gaza residents as part of Fatah’s on­go­ing ri­valry with the Ha­mas lead­er­ship in the coastal strip, say­ing a way must be found to strip Ha­mas of its power with­out harm­ing civil­ians. Fol­low­ing the meet­ing, the Meretz leader said that Is­rael’s se­cu­rity ech­e­lon con­tin­u­ally de­scribes Abu Mazen as a “le­git­i­mate part­ner,” in con­trast to Prime Min­is­ter Ne­tanyahu, and added that Meretz en­joys a bet­ter work­ing re­la­tion­ship with the Pales­tini­ans than with the prime min­is­ter. She also

No­tably, how­ever, the Is­raeli del­e­ga­tion failed to men­tion the Pales­tinian Au­thor­ity’s con­tro­ver­sial “pay-for-slay” pol­icy of

pro­vid­ing salaries to ter­ror­ists and their fam­i­lies, a point that prompted Dichter to re­spond.

“We aren’t only talk­ing about salaries,” Dichter said. “These ter­ror­ists get dif­fer­en­tial salaries, mean­ing the more peo­ple they kill and the more years of prison time they are sen­tenced to, the more money they get. How is it pos­si­ble for an Is­raeli del­e­ga­tion not to dare to bring this up with the pres­i­dent? Why didn’t they ask why [Ab­bas] vis­its the grieving fam­i­lies of ter­ror­ists who die in the course of their at­tacks and hails them as mar­tyrs?” Dichter asked.

The back-and-forth came ahead of an ex­pected visit to the re­gion by se­nior US of­fi­cials in­clud­ing Spe­cial En­voy for In­ter­na­tional Ne­go­ti­a­tions Ja­son Green­blatt, Deputy Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­viser for Strat­egy Dina Powell and se­nior White House ad­viser and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kush­ner, as the ad­min­is­tra­tion con­tin­ues its ef­fort to restart peace talks be­tween Jerusalem and Ra­mal­lah.

Chair­man of the Knes­set For­eign Af­fairs and De­fense Com­mit­tee MK Avi Dichter blasted a group of left-wing Knes­set mem­bers and ac­tivists who met with Pales­tinian Au­thor­ity Chair­man Mah­moud Ab­bas (Abu Mazen) Sunday, crit­i­ciz­ing them for fail­ing to raise the is­sue of PA salaries to the fam­i­lies of ter­ror­ists with the Pales­tinian lead­er­ship.

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