3,483. 3/25/2002

“Saddam Hussein is paying $25,000 to the relatives of Palestinian suicide bombers–a $15,000 raise much welcomed by the bombers’ families. In Tulkarm, one of the poorest towns on the West Bank, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council handed out the checks from Saddam. The payments have been made for at least two years, but the amount has suddenly jumped up by $15,000… [According to journalist] Paul McGeough, reporting from the West Bank… ‘The men at the top table then opened Saddam’s checkbook and, as the names of 47 martyrs were called, family representatives went up to sign for checks written in U.S. dollars. Those of two suicide bombers were the first to be paid the new rate of $25,000 U.S. and those whose relatives had died in other clashes with the Israeli military were given $10,000 U.S. each. The $500,000 U.S. doled out in this impoverished community yesterday [March 25, 2002] means that the besieged Iraqi leader now has contributed more than $10 million to grieving Palestinian families since the new intifada began 18 months ago.’ ”

 – Ken Layne, “Saddam Pays 25K for Palestinian Bombers,” Fox News, March 26, 2002

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