Here's the way the trick works: Abbas changed the name of the Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs, which had been part of the PA government, to the Supreme National Authority of Prisoners' Affairs, part of the PLO. The Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs was sending salaries to terrorists who were jailed, but the U.S. Congress and the parliaments of Holland, Norway, Britain and others told the PA they had to stop the practice. Now, instead of paying terrorist salaries fromthe PA general budget, the money will come from an ostensibly different organization, the PLO. Since the PLO does not receive EU or U.S. funding, the PA expects that international donors will no longer criticize its payments to imprisoned terrorists and their families.
On Wednesday, the official Palestinian Authority newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported that the new agency "will be subordinate to the PLO and supervised by it and by the Palestinian presidency."
For continuity, Abbas appointed the same minister who formerly oversaw the payment of terrorist prisoners' salaries for the PA Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs to serve as head of the new PLO Authority. Abbas has again given Issa Karake, his former Minister of Prisoners' Affairs, "the rank of minister" in his new position as head of the Authority of Prisoners' Affairs.
This week, newly-appointed Minister Karake affirmed that nothing will change under the new Authority, and the same "services," i.e., payments and other benefits to the prisoners, will continue:
"The Palestinian leadership, President Mahmoud Abbas and the members of the [PLO's] Executive Committee confirmed that this change would in no way affect the importance and significance of the prisoners' issue, neither in terms of politics and the struggle nor in terms of the services [provided to the prisoners]."
[Ajyal radio (independent Palestinian radio station), Aug. 30, 2014]