Norway and UK Foreign Ministries
gave incorrect information to their parliaments
PA TV journalist to wife of prisoner:
Yet for nearly two years, the British and Norwegian Foreign Ministries have told their MPs that PMW's documentation was incorrect. They argued that the PA does not pay salaries to security prisoners, which would be a reward for terror, but gives "social aid to the families" like other PA social welfare programs. This, they have now explained, was what the PA assured them.
In spite of all PMW's documentation, Norway and the UK have justified their continued funding of the PA, saying that none of their support money was going into a funding program specifically for terrorists, but was going to the wives and children. (See quotes below.)
PMW is now releasing a recent interview with a wife of a Palestinian prisoner that verifies the accuracy of PMW's reports. In the interview, the prisoner's wife and mother of five children complains repeatedly that the prisoner, her husband, has not given her and their children control of his salary, but instead gave it to his brother.
This testimony refutes the claims of UK Minister of State Alan Duncan in his letter on behalf of UK's DfID, Department for International Development:
Dagbladet.no (Norway), Sept. 4, 2011]
In practice, since a prisoner does not have direct access to his salary, another person must be appointed to control the money. PMW has documented that PA law gives the prisoner, and not his wife, the sole right to appoint a representative by signing a power of attorney form brought to him by a Red Cross representative or his lawyer.
When interviewed for the program, the Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Karake said that the purpose of the payments were to help the families:
PMW notes that Norwegian Foreign Minister Eide recently acknowledged to the Parliamentary Committee on Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs that the PA gave Norway wrong information regarding the prisoners' salaries. PMW is not aware of any public reports that UK Minister of State Alan Duncan has likewise notified his Parliament that the UK was misled by the PA.
Neither Norway nor Britain has indicated if the fact that the PA pays salaries to convicted terrorists in prison from its budget, will impact on their future funding of the PA budget.
Click to view 9 minutes of the interview with the prisoner's wife on PA TV.
Below is the transcript of 9 minutes of the interview, including Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Karake's response to PA TV.
To review how the story has been developing in Norway:
Click to see how PMW's findings generated this debate in Norway, the responses of Norwegian MPs, and the Parliamentary Committee investigation questioning why the Foreign Ministry did not give the correct information to parliament earlier.
Click to see how the Parliamentary Committee expressed dissatisfaction with the Foreign Minister's first answer, and how the Foreign Minister in his second letter admitted that the PA has special support program for prisoners, including terrorists, in Israel, and how that prompted the Committee to question what the Foreign Ministry did to verify the information it had received from the PA.
Click to see the UK Parliament debate of PMW's findings about PA hate incitement and UK's funding of the PA.