PA payments to prisoners, ‘martyr’ families now equal half its foreign aid

Palestinians celebrate after Palestinian prisoners end a hunger strike over their conditions in Israeli jails, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, May 27, 2017. (Flash90)

Palestinians celebrate after Palestinian prisoners end a hunger strike over their conditions in Israeli jails, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, May 27, 2017. (Flash90)

While it expects $693 million from donors, Ramallah’s 2017 budget allocates nearly $345 million for the contentious stipends

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IDF commander: Hamas’s plan to free prisoners has backfired

Israeli soldiers take part in a search operation for three Israeli teenagers believed kidnapped by Palestinian militants, early on June 18, 2014 in the West Bank town of Nablus. (photo credit: AFP/JAAFAR ASHTIYEH)

Israeli soldiers take part in a search operation for three Israeli teenagers believed kidnapped by Palestinian militants, early on June 18, 2014 in the West Bank town of Nablus. (photo credit: AFP/JAAFAR ASHTIYEH)

Many more Hamas members have been arrested following kidnapping, officer notes; Netanyahu and Ya’alon say progress made in hunt for Israeli teens

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Al Qaeda militants flee Iraq jail in violent mass break-out

 

(Reuters) – Hundreds of convicts, including senior members of al Qaeda, broke out of Iraq’s Abu Ghraib jail as comrades launched a military-style assault to free them, authorities said on Monday.

The deadly raid on the high-security jail happened as Sunni Muslim militants are re-gaining momentum in their insurgency against the Shi’ite-led government that came to power after the U.S. invasion to oust Saddam Hussein.

Suicide bombers drove cars packed with explosives to the gates of the prison on the outskirts of Baghdad on Sunday night and blasted their way into the compound, while gunmen attacked guards with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.

Other militants took up positions near the main road, fighting off security reinforcements sent from Baghdad as several militants wearing suicide vests entered the prison on foot to help free the inmates.

Ten policemen and four militants were killed in the ensuing clashes, which continued until Monday morning, when military helicopters arrived, helping to regain control.

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