- Title: Palestinian former prisoners protest suspension of PA stipends
- Date: 28th November 2019
- Summary: RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (NOVEMBER 27, 2019) (REUTERS) FORMER PRISONER IN ISRAELI JAILS, AZZAM ASSI, WITH HIS CHILDREN AT PROTEST CAMP HELD AGAINST DECISION OF PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY TO SUSPEND STIPENDS ASSI'S DAUGHTER SLEEPING AT PROTEST CAMP WOMEN GATHERING NEAR TENT FIRE FORMER PRISONERS AT STRIKE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) FORMER PALESTINIAN PRISONER, AZZAM ASSI, SAYING: "Life is harder now. I used to get a stipend, but I don't get that anymore. Life is difficult. My wife is a teacher, and now we live on her salary. We sell some olive oil, we have a farm and a small bakery to hardly make a living for us and our children." VARIOUS OF TENTS AT PROTEST CAMP FORMER PRISONERS SLEEPING IN FRONT OF TENT (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SON OF FORMER PRISONER, ABDEL AZIZ AZZAM ASSI, SAYING: "Tonight, I slept here and I will probably sleep here next night too. My father is tired and I joined him in solidarity with him so the (Palestinian) Authority will return his stipend."
- Embargoed: 12th December 2019 11:11
- Keywords: Palestinian former prisoners in Israel Palestinians in Israeli prisons Palestinian Authority
- Location: RAMALLAH, WEST BANK
- City: RAMALLAH, WEST BANK
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001B7G9DG5
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: PART QUALITY AS INCOMING
A Ramallah sit-in organised by 26 former Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails has entered its 40th day. The sit-in is aimed to express anger against a decision by the Palestinian Authority to halt their stipends.
The former prisoners, who have set up tents with their families in downtown Ramallah, have been on a hunger strike for the past 19 days.
Azzam Assi, who spent 10 years in prison on charges of aiding a Hamas militant, said he has been struggling to make ends meet and feed his seven children since his stipend was suspended in 2007.
The stipends were reportedly suspended due to the prisoners' alleged connections to Hamas. But prisoners say they should be paid in accordance with Palestinian laws which oblige the PA to pay the stipends regardless of the detainees' political affiliations.
The protesters say that security forces attempted to disperse their sit-in days ago before a visit by the Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh on Tuesday (November 26).
"The bottom line is that our national unity is not just achieved among the politicians at the higher levels but on all levels," he said, referring to a 2007 conflict between the two main Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah.
Palestinians see the inmates as heroes of a national struggle. Israeli and U.S. officials say the stipends, which are scaled so relatives of prisoners serving longer terms receive larger monthly payments, encourage Palestinian violence.
(Production: Roleen Tafakji, Saed Hawari)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None