PA cuts monthly payments to PLO factions to silence criticism

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been criticised for his crackdown on protesters and arrest of critics (AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  October 18, 2021

The Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas has suspended monthly payments to three Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) factions to silence their criticisms, the factions disclosed in a joint statement on Sunday.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) and the Palestinian People’s Party (PPP), formerly the Palestinian Communist Party, condemned the decision to stop the payments, claiming that it aims to “blackmail” them and “undermine their political positions.”

In the statement, they revealed: “The decision to suspend the payments constitutes a violation of the statute of the PLO and an infringement on the powers of its leading bodies. It also seriously damages internal relations between the PLO factions.”

The decision, they stressed: “Comes at a time when the responsibilities of the three factions are increasing in advancing the popular resistance and confronting the occupation’s policies of settlement expansion, Judaization, ethnic cleansing and apartheid.”

Meanwhile, the three factions highlighted that the suspension of the funds will not succeed in “blackmailing” them or dissuading them from: “Continuing their role in defending freedoms and democratic rights of the people in the face of the policies of oppression and authoritarianism.”

The groups have recently criticized the PA policies, especially regarding peace talks with the Israeli occupation and the meeting with Israeli officials.

They also criticized the security cooperation with the Israeli occupation, as well as the PA’s crackdown on political activists and opponents in the West Bank.

Earlier this year, the PPP announced that it would withdraw from the PA government in protest against the murder of anti-PA corruption Nizar Banat.

The PPP representative in the government, Minister of Labour Nasri Abu Jaish, refused to submit his resignation, prompting the party to expel him from its ranks.

The three groups are part of 11 factions represented in the PLO. The ruling Fatah faction, headed by Abbas, is the largest and most dominant, followed by the PFLP.