lifted from VG.no, bad google translate
Can’t get answer about support for terrorism prisoners
Progressive party warns against “testing the Parliament’s patience»
Published 05/02/13 – 12:39, modified 02/05/13 – 12:39 (AP)
By Erlend Skevik
Norway has still not received any response from the Palestinian Authority in the matter of financial support for terrorist convicted prisoners. Now the opposition demands that the government put pressure on the Palestinians.
Norwegian authorities responded after Israeli media last year revealed the hitherto unknown aspects of the financial aid scheme for Palestinian prisoners who are in Israeli prisons.
Among the new information is that the financial support increases with the length of the punishment, and that there is a special support program for people who are in prison after conviction in an Israeli military court. Several of them have been convicted of serious terrorist attacks.
– The Palestinians have been open that there is support for prisoners and their families, but there are still unanswered questions about the various schemes, said State Department spokesman Kjetil Elsebutangen.
Norway leads the international donor committee, and has since 2008 provided over 200 million annually in budget support to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. Taken together, the international support around a quarter of self-government budget.
Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide admitted in a letter to parliament Ingolf Ropstad (KrF) in March that the government previously passed “inaccurate” information to Parliament from the Palestinian authorities on the financial support to prisoners in Israeli jails.
LETTER: Read the response from the Minister of Foreign Affairs here
At the same time he stressed that there are aspects of the scheme is problematic, and he promised to take the matter up with Palestinian leaders.
19th March, the Norway and the UK, sent a letter in which they ask for a report on the scheme. In a meeting with Hans Jacob Frydenlund by the Norwegian Representative Office in Ramallah two days later deputy Saleh Nazzal by the Palestinian Ministry promised to get an answer to the Norwegian-British letter within one week.
Still there is no response.
Elsebutangen UD has received an “informal feedback” from the Palestinian Authority. He confirmed, however, that the letter from the Palestinians do not provide answers to several of the questions Norway and the United Kingdom have set.
– Foreign Minister has let the Palestinians know that we need an answer to the questions we have asked and the answer does not need unnecessary stalling, says Elsebutangen.
The Norwegian-British letter is confidential. Elsebutangen would not go into detail about what questions Norway has made to the Palestinians.
Now requires Progress representative of the Parliamentary Control Committee, Anders Anundsen, the government put pressure on the Palestinians.
– We’re still waiting for a response from the government. The Audit Committee is impatient, and there is no reason to test our patience, says Anundsen.
– Norway has a special role to the Palestinians, and I expect that the foreign minister makes it possible to press for an answer, he says.
Convicted of Terror
He also believes that the Norwegian authorities should have conducted their own research to get to the bottom of how the Norwegian aid is used.
– The longer it takes before the answer comes, the stranger it seems, he notes.
The Foreign Minister confirms that among the prisoners who receive support are persons who have been convicted of terrorist acts. He emphasizes that prisoners do not constitute a homogeneous group, and points out that it among other things, the Palestinian minors who are detained for throwing stones and elected representatives of Hamas.
– I remind you that it’s been asked a series of questions by the foundation and the conditions of detention for several of the inmates, including whether they are consistent with human rights and humanitarian law writes Eide said in a response to Parliament Ingolf Ropstad.