JERUSALEM, Israel -- The Palestinian Authority often pleads poverty, frequently announcing its need for additional international aid for economic survival.
But it managed to come up with cash bonuses and political appointments to terror prisoners released by Israel as a goodwill gesture for restarting direct talks.
According to Israeli media, each released convict who served 25 years of a life sentence received a cash reward of $50,000 and a choice between an appointment as deputy director of a government ministry or promotion to brigadier general of P.A. security forces.
One prisoner serving life sentences for murdering two Israeli hikers received $60,000 and a promise to pay for his wedding should he decide to marry.
Meanwhile, P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas retracted last week's threats to walk out on the talks, announcing they'd decided to fulfill the nine-month commitment brokered by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Last week, chief negotiator Saeb Erekat and his partner Mohammed Ishtayeh said they had submitted their resignations three weeks ago and would no longer participate in the talks.
At the same time, Abbas said a settlement must be based on the pre-1967 armistice lines with Jerusalem as its capital that acknowledges the right of return for Palestinian "refugees" and their descendants.