Top PA leader Rami Hamdallah on Wednesday described terrorists who are serving time in Israeli prisons for attacks on Israel as “prisoners of freedom”.
Hamdallah’s comments came during an event marking European Day in Ramallah, attended by representatives of the European Union and European countries.
In his remarks at the event, Hamdallah said that the PA relies on the important and vital role that Europe can play in promoting peace, ending the Israeli “occupation”, stopping the import of “settlement products” and increasing investments in Area C.
He noted that the PA is working on the international level to enlist support for the “legitimate national rights” of Palestinian Arabs and to demand a set timetable for the end of the “occupation” and the implementation of the resolutions of the Paris Summit and UN Security Council Resolution 2334.
He then gave a tribute to “Palestinian prisoners of freedom” who are in Israeli jails, especially those currently on a hunger strike, saying he was exposing what he described as “Israel’s inhuman behavior and its unjust justice system.”
In addition, Hamdallah urged the international community to pressure Israel to meet the demands of the terrorist prisoners as “a preparatory step towards the release of all of them without restriction or condition.”
The hunger strike is being led by Marwan Barghouti, a leader of Fatah which is a rival faction to Hamas. On Sunday, Israeli authorities distributed video footage proving that Barghouti secretly ate in his cell despite being on hunger strike.
The PA pays salaries to imprisoned terrorists and openly admits that it does so.
Leading Republican senators last week wrote a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump, urging him to demand that PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas end his practice of paying terrorists and their families for attacks committed against Israel.
Trump brought up the issue of the PA’s paying salaries to terrorists and their families during his meeting last week with Abbas, but it is unclear what the PA chairman’s response was.