Everything you need to know about today’s coverage of Israel and the Mideast. Join the Israel Daily News Stream on Facebook.
Today’s Top Stories
1. It may be strapped for cash, but the PA’s using six percent of its budget to pay stipends to imprisoned terrorists and the families of suicide bombers. The Times of Israel writes:
As of May 2011, the PA spent NIS 18 million ($4.5 million) per month on compensating Palestinian inmates in Israeli prisons and a further NIS 26 million ($6.5 million) on payments to families of suicide bombers. In all, such payments cost the PA some 6 percent of its overall budget, Israel’s Channel 2 news reported on Monday night, citing documentation signed by Fayyad. . .
Prisoners’ salaries also increase based on how many years they have served. Abdullah Barghouti, a Hamas bomb-maker who was sentenced in 2004 to 67 life terms for orchestrating the killings of 67 Israelis, receives a monthly stipend of NIS 4,000. In less than a year that figure will rise to NIS 6,000 ($1,500).
2. Days after a Gaza man lit himself on fire to protest poverty, another Palestinian man tried to do the same. According to Maan News, Khaled Abu Rabee, of Hebron, was struggling to support his two wives and 10 kids. He doused himself in gasoline, but was prevented from lighting it. Meanwhile, AP updates the earlier Gaza self-immolation:
The father told Palestinian news service Maan that his son sold bags of potato chips on the street sometimes, but he was frequently harassed by Hamas police . . .
The father blamed Palestinian infighting for their family’s woes. He said he had appealed to both governments, Hamas and Abbas’ Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, to help his family, but received no response.
Hamas government officials would not comment on the man’s death. Palestinian Authority officials were not immediately available for a response. Neither of their government media sites carried news of the young man’s death.
As Simon Plosker blogged earlier today, the Hebron self-immolation can’t be pinned on the Gaza “blockade.”
3. Talk about mudslinging. The Guardian and the Sydney Morning Herald picked up on a report by Al-Haq, a Palestinian non-governmental organization, accusing Israel of “pillaging” Palestinian resources from the Dead Sea.
This NGO’s quite active in the BDS movement, and was involved in London protests that forced the closure of a Ahava store selling Dead Sea cosmetics. One more thing: Al-Haq’s general director, Shawan Jabarin, has ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Israel and the Palestinians