Abbas to Trump: I'll never stop funding terrorists

Report: PA chief tells Jared Kushner he would rather lose position than halt payments to jailed terrorists and their families.

David Rosenberg ,

Donald Trump at join presser with Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem
Donald Trump at join presser with Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem

The Palestinian Authority explicitly refused overtures last week by the Trump administration to halt its funding of jailed terrorists and their families, an Israeli journalist and PA media outlets have reported.

Last Thursday, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner and special envoy Jason Greenblatt met with PA chief Mahmoud Abbas as part of the White House’s effort to bring Israel and the PA back to the negotiating table after a more than three-year hiatus.

During the talks, Kushner requested that the PA refrain from making hostile moves towards Israel diplomatically, and in exchange pledged that a plan for rebooting negotiations would be submitted by the US in three to four months.

According to Israeli journalist Gal Berger, the US delegation also pushed the PA leader to end funding for jailed Arab terrorists and their families, a policy that Israel and the US Congress have decried as a tool for encouraging attacks on Israelis.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported Monday that PA media outlets had confirmed the story, with the Arabic daily Al-Quds writing that Abbas was adamant in opposing the move, telling Trump administration officials that he would resign before cutting funds to the jailed terrorists.

The PA chief, the Al-Quds report wrote, “informed Kushner that he would never stop paying these salaries until his dying day, even if this cost him the presidency.”

“Abbas, for his part, stressed his adherence to the two-state solution, and that he would never stop paying salaries to the families of the martyrs and prisoners until his dying day.”